Lately I’ve been thinking about peace. Peace when things are not the way I want them. Peace when things are uncertain. Peace when I just do not understand. I’ve been thinking about the role pain plays in life, how it can make us wiser. This past week I read an excerpt from George McDonald’s essay titled “The Father’s Hands.” I love his final two sentences:
I care not for the pain, so long as my spirit is strong, and into your hands I commit that spirit. If your love, which is better than life, receive it, then surely your tenderness will make it great.
This morning I attended an Easter service with my sister and brother-in-law at Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA. The service was far more liturgical than what I am familiar with. This difference in style served as a good prompt for reflection. The service involved listening to readings and reciting things together (including the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer). It traced a very direct path through the Gospel message. At one point in the service Reverend Joseph Rivers walked down the aisle, stopping to shake hands with those sitting at the ends of the rows, stating directly to them: “The peace of the Lord be always with you.” I was one of those persons. While this was happening the congregants were greeting each other with similar statements.
Those words have stuck with me. The peace of the Lord be always with you.
What a powerful blessing.