“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age…” Galations 1:3,4
How quickly my eyes skim over the words grace and peace to you, but Paul thought them important enough to begin each letter with these words. Early Christians would regularly greet one another with these simple but powerful words. Those two gifts are Paul’s sincere wish for his people. How ironic that almost immediately after these words, he launches into correction, discipline and addressing conflict within the early church.
I’ve been around folks who offer a false grace and peace that is conflict free. I think Dietrich Bonhoeffer called that “cheap grace.” No, I want the real thing even if it means I have to be called to task and especially if it means I get knocked off my throne. As much as I keep trying to climb back up there, in my heart of hearts, I know that’s not where I belong. Ezekiel just told me so (28:2). So I will live in this community of believers and learn to love and be loved in the midst of personalities that are compatible and incompatible with mine and watch how God moves among us and makes us more like Him. Will His wonders never cease?