Sunday, March 19, 2017
Grace and Peace
Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
God is continually reaching out to humanity through grace. God’s grace pours out as a river, like channels of love enveloping all those who may have gone astray. Through faith we respond to the holy love that meets us in grace. The result is justification by faith as the repentant return home to the Father. Finally, there is an outpouring of God’s peace which reaches to the depths of our being, and allows us to comfortably sharing in the hope of the glory of God. God’s grace reaching out to us brings us into fellowship with the Prince of Peace.
The combination of “Grace and Peace” is not uncommon. There are people who sign of their correspondence with “Grace and Peace.” We have had a magazine called “Grace and Peace.” And there, quite simply, we put the words together and maybe don’t think that much about the connection. Both of these words remind us of the work of God in our lives. Neither of these are things which we can experience without direct Divine intervention.
We have a lot of different names for grace, or descriptors for the action of grace in different circumstances. Prevenient grace is the grace of God that reaches out to all of humanity, drawing them toward a relationship with the Creator. This is the grace of God that goes out before us, reaching out to us and constantly loving us no matter the circumstances. We also speak of saving grace and sanctifying grace. But put them all together into the large category of grace and we discover the free and unmerited favor of God. This is nothing that we earn or deserve, but simply God, generously pouring out love on all of creation and drawing us into a relationship in which we may be made whole.
In being made whole we discover peace. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, to bring back what was being destroyed through sin. In living in peace we discover the very nature of God. We are invited, through grace, into fellowship with the Triune God. There we discover the peace of God at a depth that we cannot comprehend, nor explain. Peace — wonderful peace. This is peace with God through Jesus, because we fellowship with God and suddenly there is nothing hindering the free-flow of God’s peace into our lives. Gone are worry and anxiety, and left is a holy dependence upon the one who loves us more than we can imagine.
Grace and Peace are both from God and nothing that we can conjure up on our own. We are welcomed by grace into a relationship where we experience God’s peace. Both grace and peace are supernatural, never of human manipulation nor invention. When we use the words, may they be with the reverence and awe which they deserve for they are gifts from our holy Father. God’s grace and God’s peace are ever reaching and enveloping those who are desperately in need of finding satisfaction in life. We will never manufacture it on our own, but only by following the gentle leading of grace which will take us to the place of peace.
Lord, your grace leads me to your peace. Thank you for loving me this much. Amen.