Articles & Devotionals
Grace and Peace
To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Concord. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul opened his letter to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 1:1-2 with those very words, with the exception of the city name of Concord of course.
We, Concord Church of Christ or the Christians meeting in Concord North Carolina have been blessed to have so many members involved and willing to be involved in the work of faith, encouragement, teaching, and simply overcoming daily obstacles. We’ve faced obstacles of every sort and it can become wearisome. Paul desired that the Christians meeting at Ephesus would be able absorb, receive the grace and peace of God our Father. I pray that we also can take a moment and slow time in our hearts and minds to a crawl and hear the sounds that quietness produces. If we could control the pace of life and all of its moving parts to half the speed of the beating wings of a hummingbird. Better yet, can we slow those wings to a full stop and take a breath to catchup to life and all that it encompasses. We know that our Father can and has done this (Stopped the Sun and Moon) Joshua 10:13.
God has given us grace in all things that we were in need of first and foremost a reconciliation and payment for our sin (I Peter 2:24) and He became our peace (Ephesians 2:14) as Paul had greeted the brethren at Ephesus. And so, I also say to you grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in so much as you have labored in this time. That labor recently has come in the form of the lack of the ability to be comforted in sickness, grieved with in death, congratulated in birth, lovingly teased, or just simply shaking a hand.
After worship on Sunday morning, I generally make my rounds to see a few of my loved ones (I love all my brethren equally). I know that a tall well-spoken man will be posted outside in the Foyer to the right waiting for anyone and everyone to shake his hand and share a few parting words. I then seek out the elder who is so famous that he is known by his initials and finalize the goal of the day to have been made so much better for seeing him. At the door, I can always count on a smile and a firm hand shake from the elder who spells Tom weirdly. I hug my brothers from Ohio deeply and sincerely. I remember that last week I missed the treasurer and the pajama lady, and I make sure that I spend some time talking with them. I thank the farmer who never ceases to uplift me with his words and tears of appreciation for our God and His love for us. I see the young man full of energy and his school teacher wife who have integrated so well that I can’t tell that they were ever anywhere else but here. Soon the lot is empty and the ushers have locked up. The quiet stillness of the empty lot consumes the air and the sounds of nature overtake the sounds of the children playing and the varied conversations of people talking. Grace and peace, stillness and quiet, on to the work.