This ancient Christian greeting is a blessing in several dimensions. Scriptures tell us to pray for our leaders that we might lead peaceful lives--- a challenge considering some of our nation’s administrations!
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead quiet and peaceable life in godliness and reverence”. (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
Besides living peaceful natural lives, we must realize this Christian greeting carries a supernatural meaning as well. “For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation…” (Eph. 2:14)
When we bless each other with this greeting, we are actually asking the Lord to be with us so we might know and be aware of God’s Presence with us wherever we go. When I was driving and someone nearly forced me off the road, my first reaction was to verbally assault them. I did not respond as if I was aware that Jesus was with us in the car! After years of Carole’s gentle reminders, “Honey, don’t lose your peace”, I now pray sincerely, “Lord, help get that guy home safely so he can come to know you”. And I try to respond rather than react!
In the book, “Practicing the Presence of God”, Brother Lawrence developed communing with God during his daily activities. He stayed aware of the spiritual realm and Jesus’ Presence with him. Once he was sent into the city as a substitute seller of the Abbey’s wine whose revenues were used to feed the poor. Six hours later he returned in the wagon with more money than had ever been received for their wine. When asked where he had sold the wine, Brother Lawrence replied, ‘I don’t know”. You see, Lawrence was so busy communing with God that he didn’t focus on his “reality”. Brother Lawrence was definitely on one end of the “spiritual awareness” continuum. An unbeliever who doesn’t know Jesus would be on the other end. The continuum would look something like this:
But here’s the question: ‘Where are you on that line?” When you professed Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, the Holy spirit came to you with the Father and Son. Thus all Christians are “Spirit-filled” in theological terms. Our challenge is to be “Spirit-led” as well as “Spirit-filled”. We can only do that if we are “Spirit aware”, or aware that Jesus’ Holy Spirit dwells with us, and we have Peace Himself with us. Then we can remember to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help others. Respond, don’t react! So I say to you, “Peace be with you!”
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