Saying grace.

Grace.

Grace to you

Grace to you and peace.

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I thought about talking about “blah blah blah.” Literally. Well, Nancy almost suggested it when I asked her for a word for today after talking about the death around us. Actually, she told me about the mom of someone we know who had died with COVID and I said,

“It’s so hard. So widespread. We can, of course, plug in ‘cancer’ or ‘stroke’ or ‘heart attack’ to all these deaths, but this thing is different somehow in the apparent preventability and blah blah blah.”

It was shorthand for the conversations and arguments spinning around us while deaths, whatever the cause, are up from what would be expected this year. (I talked about it in “Excess Grief.”)

I am almost as weary of the arguments as I am of the growing number of hospitalizations. And I am almost as sad about the arguments as I am sad for the family members I talk with before and after death.

And in our back and forth of emails, Nancy said, “Grace.”

That’s the word.

Which took me to the phrase that Paul used in most of his letters by way of blessing: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter talked about grace and peace as well. So did John. Sixteen letters in the New Testament offer that blessing from the writer to the readers. And so does my friend Dan almost every time we meet.

The source of the grace and the peace is, of course, not Paul or Peter or John or Dan. The source of the grace and peace is God. And the response is not to measure up to it; the response is to receive the grace and peace.

To stop and open our hands and hear the words and take a deep breath and say, “thanks.”

So to you, for today, for this weekend, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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