"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." – Galatians 1:3-5
A simple “Dear Churches” might have sufficed.
But I’m glad that the letter to the Galatian congregations begins in this way. Paul, the author, reminds the recipients first of the Gospel of Jesus. It’s a glorious Good News greeting!
The salutation brims with Gospel goodness:
Jesus "gave Himself for our sins” (verse 3). The Son of God took my sinfulness and the wrath and death it deserves on Himself. With full compassion, Jesus arrived and died for sinners!
This is Good News for me because when I believe in the salvation work of Jesus, I am delivered "from the present evil age” (verse 3). The strangle of sin and the inevitable death it brings is no longer a reality. Delivered! Jesus has delivered me!
All this, of course, was done by "the will of our God the Father” (verse 4). God planned the Gospel and arranged all of history to center on it. He sought me and found me and did all the saving. And so, God now deserves “glory forever and ever” (verse 5). All of my life now has a purpose: To worship God and to make His Gospel known.
It's a Good News greeting. It’s a Gospel hello, the best way to start.
I need a Good News greeting. I need the Gospel of Jesus at the beginning of all I do, the forerunner of every thought I have and word I speak and action I take. I need to wake up and rehearse the Good News, then carry that happy word wherever I go.
Nothing else will really suffice.