December 20

Romans 1:5-7

“To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” vs. 7

Pastors love Paul’s greeting to the Romans and many begin their sermons echoing his words, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” What more could we possibly want for one another than grace and peace! Those two words are the content of the good news that is for all people on the planet. This is what the story of Christmas is all about. Oh, we argue about a lot of things as the saints of God. We have our doctrines, theologies and creeds and we’ve grown comfortable with their definitions and dogmas–and many of us love to debate! But all of those things are beside the point–the whole of the gospel is grace and peace and nothing more! God’s gifts of wholeness and forgiveness have been showered upon us in abundance and they are ours without price and without cost. Those who take those gifts to heart are blessed with peace that defies and surpasses human understanding. Theoretically then, a pastor’s sermon could begin and end with the apostolic greeting. There really is no need for anything more! Of course that will never happen! They have a need to preach and we have a need to hear. Their wisdom is a lamp and a guide to our feet as we gracefully and peacefully make our way through life! 

Thought for the Day: What motivates pastors to preach?

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