"Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you." 2nd Corinthians 13:12
Whenever I read those words of Paul, or some form of them, I can't help but smile a bit. It makes me think about how much the "passing of the peace" has changed in my time as a pastor. From a time when it just was not done, to a time when (in some places at least) in can go on for a quite a while. I know it still makes some folks feel quite uncomfortable, and this is not an admonition to take part, or condemnation if you really don't want to. ( But, my goodness, how uncomfortable it would be if we were to greet with a holy kiss.) There are even instructions, in a book called "Here I Stand", on "How to share the peace in church." This is a book that is used at least a bit in confirmation programs.
In particular I thought of those words, and our passing of the peace the other day when Choice and I went for a walk. We walk often at Rood Bridge Park, and on it's miles of trails we often meet folks and usually say "Hello" in passing. It is not a big deal, just a part of my nature, and often times there is no greeting in return. Every one's nature is different. Still, on that Sunday afternoon, as the sun shone and the smells of fall filled the air, every person that we greeted responded in kind. It made me smile. Not a big deal, but a sweet touch none the less.
And that then made me think of a writing by Walter Wangerin called "Edification/Demolition" where he offers these words, "There are no useless, minor meetings. ..... There are no pointless lives. Swallow your sorrows, forget your grievances and all the hurt your poor life has sustained. Turn your face truly to the human before you and let her, for one pure moment, shine. Think her important, and then she will suspect that she is fashioned of God."
It is a way to grant one another peace.
"Gracious God, the generosity of your Spirit is evident all around us in the diversity and pageantry of your creation. May our giving to your mission and ministry be cheerful, open-handed and gracious, as we give thanks for our blessings and recognize the needs of our neighbors, both near and around the world. Amen."
Wednesday Vesper Service 6:30p
Adult Choir Practice 7:00p
Thursday Stewardship Meeting 10:00a
Council Meeting 7:00p
Friday Confirmation Retreat 7:00p
Saturday Pumpkin Carving 2:00 - 4:00p