(April 13, 2020)

Ephesians 1:1-2 “1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Read: Ephesians 1-2

It was customary in the ancient Greco-Roman world to begin a letter with the name and title of the sender, followed by the recipients. It was like writing “Dear John” today. So, here we see that Paul follows the accepted custom in verse 1.

Verse 2, however, is another story. Here the typical greeting ought to be simply, “greetings.” But Paul changes it – radically– to “grace and peace.” This does two things.

First, it changes a greeting into a prayer; it changes words into an action. Paul has gone from talking about his faith to living it out.

Second, as the Church Father Tertullian realized, “grace and peace” sums up the basis of our relationship to God. Simply put, the need for grace implies a need for reconciliation. And the need for peace suggests a time of earlier rebellion. …Broken and rebellious. This is what we are until we are in Christ.

And extending grace and peace is exactly what God does for us in Jesus Christ. And, like Paul, it is what we should ask for when praying for one another.

Verse 1 tells us, this is all done according to God’s will. That means our salvation is not of our own doing, but of God’s.


Grace and peace is precisely what we need now more than ever as Holy Week has ended. At Easter we are amazed at the new life that God has given us in Jesus, and after Easter, it can be amazing how quickly we tend to stray from that life.

I would like to share with you that this week I am on study leave, which is a special time set aside to work on things such as future sermons. Since I need to focus my attention there, I am not sure what this week might hold in terms of devotionals, but I hope to return to the practice.