Gospel Greetings

Trygve and Kristen Johnson

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 3)

I’ve been thinking lately about how I greet people when I pass them on the street or in the store, or how I say good-bye to them when I take my leave. Most often I say, “Hello. How are you?” When I leave, I give a normal “Good-bye,” perhaps accompanied by a “Good luck” or an “All the best,” depending on the task ahead.

But does this express the fullness of what I hope for the person I’ve encountered? Does it come close to capturing what Paul manages to convey in his greeting to the church in Corinth? Why have I chosen to replace the rich words of our Christian heritage with hollow-sounding phrases?

Perhaps this Advent season, with the hustle and bustle of Christmas all around, offers us a good time to remember the gospel reasons behind what we do and who we are as well as the gospel wishes we have for all those we encounter. Maybe our greetings can begin to reflect this too.

Good-bye apparently is derived from the longer phrase, “God be with ye.” So God be with you, and grace and peace be yours in abundance, this Advent and forevermore.

– Kristen


God, this Advent, help us to reclaim the blessings in the words of our greetings, just as your Word greets us.