Early in our marriage, my husband and I decided to continue attending our individual churches. He is Catholic and I am Baptist, we figure different staircase same heaven. We alternate taking time to attend each other’s church and after 19 years of marriage, it works for us. One of the most enjoyable parts of visiting my husband’s parish is when the congregation shows signs of peace. Shaking hands with those sitting near you is always interesting. The common term said is “peace be with you”, where some have shortened the greeting to just “peace”.
I wonder how it would work outside of church to approach individuals and say “peace be with you”? How would it be taken, would the response be “and peace be with you too”? Or would people just run away from the crazy person offering signs of peace? It seems like such a simple concept peace, however, to have peace means to have tolerance and understanding. It means putting aside selfish ways for a more selfless attitude. We have all met people that have a aura of peace surrounding them. I have had co-workers whom I have found soleus with on crazy days because they helped bring calmness and peace to a chaotic day.
We are in the season of peace and joy. But shouldn’t this type of energy be carried through to the whole year. Or is it to tiring for most people to keep up the level of effort needed for a peaceful year. Just like New Year’s resolutions the idea of peace is forgotten by late January. Then comes February a month where love is the highlight, a time when a derivative of peace makes an appearance. But I think big red hearts with “I Peace You” would not go over as well as “I Love You”.
I encourage you this season among the hustle and bustle, to find time to be at peace. Think about what is really important this year. During the official start of holiday shopping both shoppers and store personal were not very peaceful. Spraying pepper spray on fellow shoppers in addition to customers is not what Christmas nor Hanukkah is about. Both holidays reflect on past miracles the birth of Christ should be the focus of Christmas; and the miracle of the lantern remaining lit for eight days should be the focus of Hanukkah.
During a time when around the world there is economic strife and civil unrest there is need for peace more than ever. I believe that peace can be contagious; if each person passes on the attitude of peace it just may be as catching as the common cold. So today I encourage you to seek peace and to be at peace as well as passing on the message of peace. May peace be with you and yours this holiday season.