21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters with me send you their greeting. 22 All God’s people here, especially those in Caesar’s household, send you their greeting. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits.
Right now I am missing the physical way we are in church. Particularly, it is the chance to be in worship with one another in Christian love. As a greeting, in church we say:
“The peace of Christ be with you….”
“…And also with you!”
Before the pandemic, we could even greet one another by giving a firm handshake or a wave –or depending on our relationships– by giving a warm embrace. In a worldly way, our greetings show how we are unique and humanly connected.
But in a sacred way, our greetings as people of God show our spiritual connection to Jesus and his divine message. Through Philippians, Paul shared a gracious greeting and love from the whole Christian community. Yet that larger Christian community was a group of former Jews and
gentiles, who lived very differently, and even in different countries and cultures. And despite their differences, that larger community was one who acted by their shared belief and love of God.
Through our greetings, actions and prayers, as Christians, we must find ways to share our unique identity as people of God. We must be creative and remember to love as Jesus loved. We can, and must learn to greet all others with Christ’s peace in our hearts. Only then will we live as brothers and sisters. So get creative for Christ’s sake and pass the peace in all that you do!
Peace be with you!
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Even though it was not a physical shared greeting in Philippians, Paul reminds us of the sacred connection that Christians share because of Jesus. Most importantly, through Paul’s words, we are reminded to greet all God’s people with grace and peace, even if they are not Christian people we agree with.
Of course because of the virus, we may not be able to greet one another with the same physical hello we have enjoyed in the past. However, we can still find ways to greet one another in Christian love and affection. It is time to get creative! What can you do today to connect in Christian love with someone who needs it? How can you creatively pass the peace of Christ along?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your love and grace. May it guide us in all our encounters with others. May we learn through prayer and your words just how to greet everyone in Christian love and affection. May we be people of peace who learn to live the message, all for your glory. Amen.