Peace and Grace

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Ephesians 6:21-24

Peace be to the whole community. (v. 23 NRSV)

This letter ends as it begins, with reference to peace and grace. Peace be with all the brothers and sisters, says Paul. And hard on the heels of this peace is love with faith—both of them gifts from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s hard to have one without the others.

And “grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ,” says Paul as he continues his benediction (v. 24). No surprise, since grace is the preeminent word that Paul uses to describe God. God is the grace-filled gatherer and generous giver of all good gifts.

In the Greek there is a word at the very end of the last sentence often translated “undying.” It literally means “with immortality” or “with incorruption.” Some think this refers to our love for Christ, which is important. Genuine love for the Lord Jesus makes all the difference for a person. But Paul’s clear emphasis in this epistle is on God’s grace and love for us. I like to think that it is God’s grace that is imperishable and undying. God’s grace is not subject to decay. God’s grace will never fail. God’s grace is not only unmerited and free but also steadfastly sure.

May we never forget this gospel, this good news: God’s grace and love will never let us down.

PRAYER

God of peace and grace, help us to treasure this good news and hold fast to your steadfast love and unalterable grace.