Glimpses of God's grace as experienced through the eyes of a pilgrim pastor.
Friday, January 24, 2014
The Peace of a Two-Year-Old
Hadley reaches out his hand, looks his neighbor in the eye, and says, "Peace be with you."
Sounds like any Sunday morning at Christ and Trinity during the passing of the peace, but for two-year-old Hadley, saying, "Peace be with you," doesn't only occur at church but also with his classmates at preschool. Hadley extends his hand and offers the words, "Peace be with you" to his preschool friends.
Peace be with you.
For Hadley going to church and being the church are one and the same. From Hadley, a young theologian, we learn and see and experience the power of words, the power of touch, and the power of community. Wherever we are.
Every Sunday we come together and worship. We come to offer forgiveness and to be forgiven. We come to pray for others and for others to pray for us. We come to taste and see and feel that the Lord is good. We come to sing and to praise. We come to share peace and to bless. When we offer the peace of the Lord to our neighbors each week we do it knowing that it is God's peace that we offer. Not ours. We shake hands and say, "Peace" to people with whom we may disagree, to people we may not know, to people who may think and act differently than we do. We offer peace not out of our own goodness but out of the goodness and grace of God. And somehow, deep down, Hadley already knows that. Hadley knows that this peace is something that he can't keep to just himself. Hadley knows that the world needs to hear words of peace. And Hadley teaches us that God's peace is not solely the property of Sunday morning worship.
This January I resolved to remember and say and believe that I am a child of God. Loved. Claimed. Special. Now, I learn from Hadley, and invite you to learn from him as well. I invite you to reach out your hands, look your neighbor and strangers and enemies in the eye, and say, "Peace be with you." I invite you to reach out your hands knowing that God's peace has already come to you.
Come each week for worship and hear the words of peace that are for you. Come to worship and share those words of comfort and hope. And then offer the peace during worship and go out into the world with an outstretched arm knowing that a child leads the way.