Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Sign of Peace

The Sign of Peace just happens to be one of my favorite parts of Liturgy. Of course, as I was telling someone the other night, it used to make me super nervous as a super introverted kid who got butterflies just thinking about shaking a stranger’s hand. Now though, the Sign of Peace is a moment when I get to embrace so many people who are super dear to me.

So, as I have been doing my lectio this past week, I sit with these words:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you” (John 14:27).

Peace is a word that is hard not to love because, at least for me, it connotes a state of being where Love outshines everything else. And, I get glimpses of that in my life: two children discover how to share a seemingly unsharable toy; words of support arrive at just the right time; the sky turns magnificent shades of purples, blues, and pinks at the start of a new day.

These are all signs of peace for me. But what we're talking about here is a peace not of this world; it is an inner peace, an inner state of being that depends only on the love of God permeating my entire self. 

How do we reach this place of inner peace in our lives? Before we offer the Sign of Peace, we hear the words, "Look not on our sins, but on the faith of our church." My faith is how I reach that deep peace of Christ; my faith that calls me to love, mercy, and forgiveness. When I embrace those, I begin to find inner peace in my life.

May we be a sign of peace for one another as we embrace a faith that leads us to the peace of Christ.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

signs of peace that people I love have given me