Tonight was a good night. We had Oreo balls for dessert, and that's enough to make any night a good night.
Today at Café, Jeremy spoke about grace and peace. In particular, we looked at 2 Corinthians 11:21-31.
We also looked at Philippians 2:1-11:
Grace and peace. These two words are at the beginning of every letter that Paul writes in the New Testament. These are the two things that gave Paul life and keep him going, and he extends that to everyone. Why does he do this?
The grace and peace that Paul greets his fellow believers with is of a different variety than what grace and peace meant in those times.
Grace was used as a term for favor. In this context, grace is about God's full favor. Paul, once a person who passionately persecuted Christians, has himself received this grace and quite literally turned his life around. This grace means that God is for you and that you're forgiven. Paul offers grace to everyone, the same way that he was offered grace. Can I say grace one more time dang
Peace was a term used to refer to being free from violence and war. The Romans ruled in a way that presented peace under a threat of fear. Peace from God is completely different. Peace here speaks to the idea of shalom: wholeness and completeness, where everything flourishes. This means that everything is the way that things should be.
Paul lived a life that shows that even when things aren't going well, it can still be well. Paul wrote the letter in Philippians 1 from jail. We can also see from 2 Corinthians that Paul lived a life full of obstacles and troubles. It's hard to imagine how someone who has experienced what Paul has could write letters filled with such joy. As Jeremy said tonight, even when it feels like it's the most absent, grace and peace still remain. God tells us to take heart because He's overcome the world [John 16:33].
Where do we seek shelter from the things that rob us of peace? We need more than an education or a paycheck; we need something more complete -- the things that go far deeper.
In the face of struggles, will we choose Jesus?