“Peace with you,” flowed in whispered tones up and down the row of every pew, one handshake or hug after another. The congregation turned to the front, side, and then behind to navigate the entire circle of people which surrounded them. Teased about wanting to be friends with everyone, this was always my favorite part of the service.
“Peace be with you.”
“Peace be with you, too!”
During the pandemic, my husband and I mused about whether handshakes would ever be a thing we did again. They had already been replaced so often by fist bumps and high fives, and now elbow bumps. But there is something powerful a handshake conveys. “In ancient Rome, the handshake was often used as a symbol of friendship and loyalty” according to History.com. My daddy taught me it was important to have a firm handshake …not a dead fish. I doubt a super strong fist bump has the same effect a genuine handshake can convey.
Peace is something which seems to elude us. Though the time we are living through seems crazier than all the rest preceding it, each generation has thought the exact same thing: “How much crazier could it possibly get?” And we continue to roll on further into crazy-town. This is why the peace Jesus speaks of in Scripture is so important to our hearts, minds, and very lives. Peace is possible, even in crazy times. God promises us.