The passing the peace is a tradition that has deep roots in Scripture. After His resurrection, Jesus greeted His disciples with the words, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). The Apostle Paul typically began his letters with the greeting, “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The passing of the peace embodies our identity as children of God and also our call from Jesus to be peacemakers. As well, this piece of the liturgy conditions and trains ours hearts, hands, and tongues in the ways of peace.
In more formal settings, the people of God rise from their seats and pronounce these words to their fellow worshipers:
The peace of Christ be with you
And also with you
In less formal settings, people will greet one another with high fives, hugs and perhaps even a holy kiss.
What might an everyday, ordinary passing of the peace look like?
As you walk through your office, school or neighbor, lift up your head and be pro-active to not only make eye contact with people, but also to greet them them by name. And while saying, “the peace of Christ be with you” may not be appropriate in your context or setting, a simple “peace be with you” might brighten their day or open up an opportunity for further conversation.
Please check out my Indiegogo project, A Movable Feast: Worship for the Other Six Days. This book is designed to help the people of God live out the call to worship Monday – Saturday. This book has been percolating within me for quite some time now and with your help the dream can become a reality.