Days of Grace-Day 27

Grace and peace to you from our Father God and The Lord Jesus Christ!  

     So far our journey has lead us through the Old Testament, the Gospels, Acts and Romans. As we move into the epistles, we will see that many of them begin similarly. For instance, 1 Corinthians begins, “From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 1:1-4 NET). When reading the letters of Paul we see he tends to always start with a greeting whether written to a group of believers or to an individual and then add Grace and peace to you from God the Father and The Lord Jesus Christ. 

     Peter and Jude also use a comparable phrase in their greetings. James, written by Jesus brother did not begin this way.  Hebrews, 1 John, 3 John, and Revelation do not begin in this style but the majority do. Being an inquisitive person, I have to ask why. Why did these men choose to include this as part of his greeting?  Perhaps it was just part of a polite greeting used among the early church or a customary style used by their culture. I suspect it was much more. One thought was that as these men sat down to write their letters, they may have been sitting at the desk or table reminiscing about the time they had spent in these cities. Maybe they began to think about each individual they had connected with while there. Longing to truly connect with them personally rather than by letter.  These words could have flowed as a way to show their love and affection or a way to offer up a prayer over them as the writer composed the letter.  Another possibility might have been that it was simply a reminder to them that God’s grace and peace is ever available to them. Whatever the reason, what a great way to open a letter or even greet a brother or sister of like faith. 

     So much communication is lost in our day of quick emails or texts. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter. Usually it is a quick message here or there; phone calls are even being undermined by texting more and more. For many, it is about getting the point across or the message given in the quickest amount of time and moving to the next obligation or project. Please don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not condemning or judging because I am guilty of this too! Life is fast paced and busy. We forget to take time to slowdown and enjoy the simpler things in life and neglect connection with old friends and distant relatives.  Just think for a moment how it might feel for someone to take the time to send a message resembling one of Paul’s:

    From (_________), your (neighbor, childhood friend, 3rd grade teacher/student). Grace and peace to you, my friend. I thought of you today and smiled just remembering our times together. I hope that you are in good health and all is well with you and your family. Praying grace, peace and blessing over you today as I send this note…

 

     As I pause and still my mind for a moment! I can think of at least a hand full of people right now that I probably could stand to sit down and jot a note card or letter to. I am making a mental list as I type. No, better not trust my mind; hold on while I jot a note to remind me…

Oh but before I go! Grace, mercy, and peace to you dear friend! Until tomorrow…

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