Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
What does it mean to say, “Peace be with you.” Jesus said it three times in the reading from John last week, and here he is again in Luke, saying it to kick off this resurrection appearance story that comes complete with breakfast.
It’s almost too intuitive to define. It could mean, “Calm down,” but that feels condescending and diminishing. It’s more empowering than that.
It has the effect of a mantra: to center and to still. It is the necessary precursor to believing and acting: in this story from Luke, it opens the scene and enables the disciples to move from being startled to joyfully disbelieving. But as they sit with it a bit longer, it seeps down in like rain into soil and the seed begins to take root…soon they will branch out to “all nations, starting from Jerusalem.”
“Peace be with you” is a practice, the beginning of a movement. It brings both the one speaking it and the one receiving it to center. From there, anything is possible…including peace in our time.
writer with the Nightcliff Congregation in Darwin, Australia for Lent, Easter