(SERMON BY ANDREW ALLISON)
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, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.Amen. Galatians 1.3-5
Last week, we talked about grace. This morning, let’s talk about peace.
Peace is not about escaping. Peace is power for a new way of living and relating to one another.
Peace is from OUR God and Father who rescued US. We’re in this together.
Let’s always be friends. Whatever differences we may have, let’s always be friends.
For a long time, Paul didn’t have many friends. Religion makes us judge others but when Paul met Jesus, he received grace that he didn’t deserve and peace with others.
This is God’s greeting to you. Grace and peace. You’re safe with me. You’re not at harm. Feel the freedom of this. When you wake up, grace and peace!
He rescued each of us. Whatever your brokenness, Jesus tackled it, took it down and He will walk out of it with you. It’s all done because of His grace. He gave Himself for our sins.
It’s tough at times in this world. We will come alive together – that’s what’s coming. So, there is absolutely no reason for us to never get along. There is no reason for Christians not to show kindness to one another If you have something against someone here, you have to make it right – it’s on you. You can’t say, “Grace and peace” and hold onto your grudge.
We talk about the community attending our church but I believe our church needs to attend our community because peace needs to travel. Let’s turn our grudge-keeping world on its head. Let’s turn our hearts toward others in peace and only want well for others.
We show grace to others because we got grace when we didn’t deserve it.
Author Christopher Hitchens was a strong atheist who, throughout his entire life, tore apart any idea of God. Francis Collins, also an author was mocked in the medical and science world because of his faith. The two had often met in the past as adversaries in the debate about whether God exists.
Against the odds, they became friends.
Collins did everything he could do to keep Hitchins alive. Despite their very different beliefs, when Hitchins died, Collins led the charge to grieve the loss. I encourage you to google their story.
Live from a place of grace and peace.
PS. I did google these two men’s names – very touching story.