“Grace and peace be unto to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The year was 1969. The song was “Give Peace a Chance” written by John Lennon of Beatles fame. The context of the song was the contentious atmosphere occasioned by the Vietnam war.
Although ultimately futile in its’ appeal, Mr. Lennon’s sentiment is hard to quibble with. Peace, like many things in life that are worthy of our efforts, is worth a try. At the same time peace tends to be one of those things that most people think is a good idea but don’t really want to do much about. Human beings have a way of talking - or singing – a good game when it comes to things like peace, love, justice, etc. If we were serious, however, the world and our lives would not look the way they do. After all, for most of us, peace is nothing more than the absence of open conflict. And that is not true peace.
The church has also been doing some singing. If I were to give a title to the great anthem of the Church universal it would be this: ‘Give Grace a Chance’. It’s grace that we need. “Grace and peace”, Paul wrote. The order is important. Peace is a by-product. All the tangled contentions of the world are a result of humanity’s refusal to live by grace, to receive in humility and gratitude all the gifts of God. Jesus came, full of grace and truth, and we killed Him. This is evidence enough that we rather prefer a graceless world.
So, we can sing all we like about giving peace a chance. But know this, there is no peace apart from the Prince of Peace and the grace that is in Him alone.
“May the peace…AND GRACE… of God that passes all undestanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”