Grace, Peace, and Goodwill
Scripture Reading — Ephesians 2:11-18
He himself is our peace, who has ... destroyed the ... dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14 —
Have you ever noticed that people treat each other better during the holidays? Even people who don't care for each other will often find room in their hearts to wish each other a "Merry Christmas" if they happen to meet. Why is that? It's because in many ways the Christmas season is about grace, peace, and goodwill.
When Jesus was born, the angels said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14). Another version of the Bible refers to God's favor, or grace, as "goodwill" (KJV). Through his gift to us at Christmas, God makes peace with us and freely offers his grace and goodwill.
Through Christ we can have peace with God, but through Christ we can also have peace with others. Our reading for today tells us, "He himself is our peace, who has ... destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" between all nations, peoples, cultures, and languages.
God has expressed his grace and favor toward us by providing us with a gift--a Savior who is Christ the Lord. God also calls us to share his grace and goodwill with others. This Christmas season, will you share grace and goodwill with all people?
What a wonderful gift to share with others--the gift of goodwill and grace!
Lord God, thank you for giving us your peace through the gift of Jesus Christ. Help us to offer your gift of grace and goodwill to all the people around us. In Jesus, Amen.