Galatians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
If I could give two precious gifts to the world this Christmas, they would be grace and peace.
Grace would be given, so that folks could forgive one another and allow their past mistakes to remain in the past. Husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters could set aside their differences and begin again. Fractured feelings, persistent pride, and baneful bitterness could be gone forever, replaced by love, kindness, and compassion. What a gift to give our broken world!
Peace would be given so that different groups could learn to dialogue with one another; nations could recommit themselves to the betterment of humanity; religions could turn their theological barbs and spears into plowshares for effectively working against poverty, oppression, and injustice. Races across the globe could respect the wonderful variety of God’s image in all people and work together to eliminate bigotry and prejudice, humiliation and rivalry.
The bad news is that I don’t have the ability or power to give those gifts to the world; but the good news is this: Christ has already given those two great blessings through His sacrifice on Calvary and obedience to God. The gifts of grace and peace are already ours; we only have to find and apply them in each of our lives to begin the worldwide celebration of God’s love to the world.
Questions for personal reflection
Where have I experienced God’s grace and peace in my life? To whom can I share these great gifts during Advent?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are both the greatest gift and the greatest gift-bringer in the history of the world. You came among us to grant all people everywhere the opportunity of being restored to God’s favor and love, as well as His grace and peace. Help us to share these blessings with the other people in our lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message or ask a question, please send John an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Christmas drawings called “Tree Window.” It’s a stained glass design of a Christmas tree. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7389/11164226093_863c950b18_b.jpg