“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 NIV
In order to seek peace, you have to pass peace on to others. Passing the peace is something that has been done in churches for centuries. Typically, it’s a time during the service, before the sermon, when congregants greet each other. The words originally exchanged, “Peace be with you,” as people shake hands. This is a physical way of passing the peace from one person to the next. It’s been years since I’ve attended a service where they actually “pass the peace.” Typically these days it’s not done at all, or if it is, it’s a “high five” rather than a handshake. But passing the peace isn’t something that can only be done in church. Passing the peace is something you can do in all aspects of life.
My husband and I pass the peace in our marriage. We pass the peace when we put the other person ahead of our needs. When my husband is dishing up dinner plates, he always gives me more than himself. He’s passing peace. When I do the laundry and put away his clothes, I’m passing the peace with him. We pass the peace by respecting each other. We pass the peace when we’re willing to agree to disagree on a subject. Every month when we strive together to come in on budget, we are passing the peace. We are seeking peace by passing it. Seek peace by passing peace.
Seek peace by passing peace.
Jesus sought peace everywhere He went. Jesus sought peace when he fed the 5,000, healed the sick, loved the unlovable. Everywhere Jesus went, he sought peace. One of my favorite passages is found in John 8:1-11 NIV. A woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus at the Temple where He is teaching. They expect Him to stone her because that is the penalty for the crime. Instead Jesus sought peace. Without saying a word, he knelt and wrote something in the sand. What He wrote no one knows for sure. What we do know is that one by one her accusers left. Jesus quiets the crowd without saying a word. He was the Master of seeking peace.
We can live our lives like Jesus. We can seek peace wherever we go. Jesus was the Master of Peace because He sought the Father first (Mark 1:35 NIV). When we seek God first, we’ll become masters of peace as well. We’ll put others needs ahead of ours. We’ll forgive our offenses and pray for our enemies. We’ll love our neighbors as ourselves. When we do those things, passing the peace becomes a lifestyle. Everywhere we go, like Jesus, we’ll seek peace. When we seek peace, we’ll pass peace to those around us.
Question of the Day:
How can you pass the peace today?