Monday, August 4, 2008

Peace to You

Grace to you and peace.

I Thessalonians 1:1c

It was time in the worship service to pass the peace of Christ to our neighbors but for some it was time to catch up on news. Turning to my pew neighbor I saw her hand reach out to a quickly moving worshipper who obviously had another congregational target in mind. My neighbor received only a slight brush of the hand with no eye connection. Between these two Jesus followers the peace of Christ was not given. The look on my neighbor’s face with her outstretched hand was…well, how would you feel.

Sitting down I pondered over what exactly had been missed. If every letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the early churches starts with a greeting of peace, it must be important for us today as well. Giving a word of peace to someone is surely more than a Sunday morning salutation.

Encouragement, exhortation, instruction and correction were what Paul’s letters contained. Familiar with the challenges that faced each congregation he also knew what they needed to hear. While each letter is unique in its message he never failed to first give them the peace of Christ. While situations, locations and political structures separated them, Christ’s peace was what bound them together as an early church.

So much was missed during this particular peace of Christ Sunday. Two Jesus followers, possessing all manner of things that separated them, missed an opportunity to connect at the Cross. Our differences make us individuals. Christ’s peace makes us family.

Grace to you and peace.

Jesus, thank you for the
peace that you give me every day.
Give me eyes to
see the opportunity
and lips to speak Your
peace to everyone I meet.

No comments: