I have been using Grace & Peace as my complimentary close on my blog for a while, and have used it on my emails for a long time before that. I had wanted to find something that would express more meaning than the usual closings: Sincerely, Best Regards, Love, and the Christian favorite — Yours in Christ. Something that would express my faith but still be appropriate for anyone.
I looked into what was common in the epistles (letters in the Bible,) and found a common greeting: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” and I thought, Yes! That’s perfect. Everyone needs grace and peace.
I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, I need bunches of grace, just as I am sure you do, too. By this I am saying, let’s not let things get in-between us, while also saying, I wish you peace in your life. At least that’s how I see it.
What is even better than my interpretation is the original version. It is the grace and peace given us by Father God and Jesus. What is being extended in this salutation that shows up in Paul’s, Peter’s, and John’s letters?
Let’s venture into some other verses.
God’s grace is his undeserved power at work in us.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
Jesus’ grace given to us is the foundation of his power. See the next verse:
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.Acts 4:33 (NIV)
That was a revelation to me. The relation between God’s grace and his power.
What about peace? Most people are familiar with the next two scripture references.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27 (NIV)
But (Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”Mark 38-40 (ESV)
What I see, as Jesus calms the physical storm, is that he had peace in the midst of it. He was calmly sleeping. I’d call that a peace that is not from this world. In both references he equates peace with the absence of fear. Who here has been able to traverse this world without fear? Surely, not me. I need his peace.
I didn’t know why, but when I thought about this post the hymn Blessed Assurance started playing in my head, so I looked it up. I see now the grace expressed in verse one and the peace expressed in verse three. Take a look and see what you think.
1) Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His spirit, washed in His blood
3) Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior, am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.Blessed Assurance Fanny Crosby
May the Lord fill you with his goodness, his love, his grace, and his peace.
Grace & Peace,