Today’s passage:  “To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7)

Devotional Thought:  Our Tuesday discussion group is looking at Romans and the importance Romans had to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago.  This greeting by Paul is typical of his letters to the various churches to which he wrote.

Greeters and greetings…they can make a difference!  But…sometimes I think we take them for granted – maybe even overlook them.  We talk about greeting people in Christian love. “Grace and peace to you…”  But this greeting by Paul to the church in Rome has a very special perspective that many often miss – did you catch it?  It doesn’t say “grace and peace to those who are like us”…nor, does it say, “grace and peace who believe the same things, have the same politicos preferences, etc”.  It says…”to all God’s beloved in Rome…”.  Other translations say, “I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God” (NLT); “To those in Rome who are dearly loved by God…” (CEB).  You get the point…not the ones we like or don’t like, or the ones we agree with or don’t, or those who…again, I think you get the point.  Paul says grace and peace to all those who GOD loves!!

The next time you come across the opportunity to greet someone…someone you know or don’t know…even a complete stranger…don’t look past the opportunity to shake their hand, give them a hug, say hello with a warm and genuine smile with the simple reality that they are loved by God! We who are called to be God’s people…followers of Jesus…we, are to be about relationships…deep and long-lasting relationships.  

“Grace and peace to you…” It can be a life-changer for anyone……..