Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. – Galatians 1:3
For many years at my church, Mission Baptist, the pastoral and congregational salutation is our text. Personally, no matter where I travel, at home and abroad, I always greet people “peace and love” or “praise the Lord”. I remember on one occasion while in Washington attending the National Prayer Breakfast, I greeted persons with “peace and love.” A lady stopped me and with tears in her eyes told me that no one ever said “peace and love” to her. Could I tell you that the person was a high-ranking member of the United States Congress?
The beginning of January 2020 was filled with hope, expectation and anticipation. Hope that wrongs would be turned to right, darkness and gloom to bright light days and tomorrows and the thief of lost relationships would be found at the good news center.
What a year 2020 has been, and comfort quells us reminding us that we are still alive to see each other’s face.
Embracing 2021, we hope that we never see the likes of 2020 again. All the hurt and sorrow in one form or the other.
We give God thanks for January 10, 1967. These isles of the seas called The Bahamas, we achieved majority rule after having been in captivity for some 400 years-plus. We also give God thanks for the smooth transition of power and our rulers accepted their fate. Graciousness becomes powerful when taken at the time of loss in our lives. Saint Francis of Assisi pleads to God to help us accept the things that we are unable to change.
The Apostle Paul, formerly Saul, was a man with a wealth of knowledge and intelligence. He studied at the feet of the noted and proclaimed teacher, Gamaliel. He was well-versed with recording happenings and letter writing and it was on the Road to Damascus he had letters for the persecution of the Christians.
Whereas letters written by Paul would usually begin with him giving reason for being thankful for the person or group being addressed, this is not the case for the Galatians, as they had deserted the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, in the beauty of language on the tongue of one well trained, he opens the letter with “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead,) and all the brethren, which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia. It was after this he greeted them with the words of our text.
But in the case of the church at Galatia, this greeting is not at the beginning as with other churches. However, this greeting is very powerful and a balm in Gilead for all the times, seasons and situations of our lives and needs to resonate around the world.
COVID-19 gave us three commands and demands for survival – wash your hands, wear your mask and social distance – and this is still enforced.
May we as a people adopt as our national greeting – grace be unto you and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The voice makes a difference.