Our current world is on edge. Division, finger pointing, and demonizing fill our news feeds. The only thing that we can agree on is our propensity to see our view as 100% correct and our opponent’s view as utterly flawed. We choose teams, draw lines, and feel justified in defending our opinion because we are clearly right. As Christians, many of us have jumped headfirst into the pool of division without even considering what being a witness of God’s kingdom could look like.
In the middle of conflict, the Apostle Paul’s frequent words to his readers, “grace and peace,” ring out as a Gospel witness in the middle of a broken world. In this simple greeting used throughout Paul’s New Testament letters, he gives the churches he shepherds a picture of kingdom realities we as Christians should be seeking to embody. We may have become so lost in the moment’s drama that we forgot the kingdom we are called to represent as Jesus’ followers. Here are two things to remember.
1. As people of grace, we begin by remembering where we would be without grace. We are not better than others because we have received grace, but we have been invited to be givers of grace to others. As we extend grace, we realize that seats of judgment are not ours to take. We seek to lead with love. We assume people’s best intentions and seek to meet them where they are. As we model grace, we point to Jesus, who embodied grace to the point of giving His life.
2. As people of peace, we seek to bring people together at a common table. If you peer beyond the headlines, we are all humans seeking to make it through life the best we can. Peacemakers seek to be leaders in conversations that bring about a better world through collaboration. As we seek peace, we can truly see the beauty in diversity that God has made in people made in His image.
What could it look like for your family to be a beacon of light shining grace and peace into our divided world? Your family could be willing to become a place where people are welcomed with love and grace, where best intentions are assumed, and where honest conversations can happen as people made in the image of God can bring about a better world that may look a little more like God’s kingdom.
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker