“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.

Peace, in the context of John 16:33, is tranquility and contentment with life here on earth, because of the hope of eternity through salvation in Christ Jesus. Peace is “security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe.)” But there is an important piece of the peace puzzle – life within the love of Christ. In me, He promises, we will have peace. “To be in Christ … means that we have a saving relationship with Christ and are brought into union and communion with Him in such a way that, as we are in Christ, what is true of Christ becomes true of us,” Steven Lawson and Derek Thomas explain. “His grace and His resources become our experience and possession.”