Friday, August 6, 2010

Grace and Peace

Grace to you and peace.

I Thessalonians 1:1c

It was time in our worship to pass the peace of Christ, but for many the time was spent catching up on news. Turning to my neighbor I glimpsed her hand reach out to a fast moving worshipper obviously intent on reaching another "neighbor." My neighbor received a slight brush of the hand with no eye connection. The peace of Christ had not been given. I caught her eye and with a shrug of her shoulders she looked away.

Sitting down I pondered over what had been missed. Every letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the early churches starts with a greeting of peace. It must be important for us as well! Giving a word of peace is surely more than finding out where to eat after worship.

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.

There was a huge disconnect on this particular peace of Christ Sunday. So much had been missed. 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: