Friday, July 19, 2013

Liturgy Series Part VII: Sharing of the Peace

I really wish I remembered where I found this bumper sticker.
No clue.    A. Hanson 2013
The sharing of the peace is one of my favorite parts of the liturgy.  It occurs after the prayers of the people and before the meal.  The sharing of the peace is often seen as merely a time of greeting.  But it is so much more.

The sharing of the peace is a communal absolution.  In the words of the preacher, we are all making a confession of our human sinfulness.  And in the sharing of the peace, we acknowledge the freedom from that bondage.  We absolve one another when we say, "the peace of Christ be with you...and also with you!"

I have often wondered what our world would be like if we shared peace with one another on a more regular basis.  A sort of greeting that states, "I see the humanity in you and you see the humanity in me.  And we are bound together by our common identity in Christ."  We frequently hurt, disappoint, and otherwise harm others.  We in turn are hurt, disappointed and harmed by the human failings of other people.  What we are saying when we greet one another with the peace of Christ is "I forgive you in the name of Christ."

Our theology states that the forgiveness is not done by us.  Rather, it  is done through us by God in Christ and the Holy Spirit.  So, sin boldly.  But also forgive boldly.

Up next...

Part VIII: The Offering


soul and culture said...

I believe that's a photo of the rear window of my CRV.

AMY HANSON said...

Thanks ACliff!!!!