On Sunday mornings, I offer this phrase as a token of reconciliation, quiet assurance of solidarity, and celebration of joy with the young. The offer of peace is essential to our worship; I write it in each week, not as filler, but as an intentional space for those of us gathered for worship, to celebrate that peace may yet come.
The way that I learned the sharing of peace was as a direct response to a congregational time of confession. We corporately confess and share and name our sins, our wrongdoings, our times when we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and have failed to hear the cry of the needy. We ask for forgiveness, and we declare forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ.
And we share the peace. We speak peace to those around us, we speak peace to those in our community, and we speak peace to our guides. The peace that we speak to each other may feel rote, but as we practice sharing peace with each other, I pray it speaks a truth about us that spreads beyond our walls, into our homes, into our wider community, and into our lives.
Only with the peace of God will we be able to live in the way that leads to life.
Oh how I want that peace. I yearn for peace in a way that a parched tree yearns for water. I stand, listless, fixed to the soil that has grown thin, thirsty for free flowing, refreshing peace that rushes over my soul.
The current news of wars and rumors of war parches the land where I balance. This is not the land where I can thrive, I thirst for a land of peace where compassion and justice roll down like waters.
I want peace, not just the absence of war. Peace.