Monday, 27 October 2008

Peace Be With You

We had an amazing time at church yesterday morning.

A very real sense of God meeting with us and bringing transformation into our lives. It was special to be a part of.

I tried something different at Communion.

Firstly I had one cup and one loaf on the table and people were invited to come forward to receive the bread and wine. In Baptist churches this is very different to how things are normally done, but it was received really positively.

Before we received Communion though I asked everyone to go round making peace with each other. All of this is common practice within my Anglican friends traditions, but it is not something that happens on a regular basis within my own experience of Baptist churches. I'm sure my Anglican friends may say that this act of walking round hugging, shaking hands and making peace can become a ritual where people are not really engaging, but nevertheless, there is an act of peace being offered.

What we were blessed with yesterday was that having never done this before (to my knowledge) as a church it was new, scary but liberating ground. People got out of their seats and went round the whole church making peace with each other. Hugging, shaking hands, laughing and sharing. The atmosphere was beautiful. I could sense God beginning to heal broken relationships and bring peace to each other.

The realty of church life is that we so often meet together yet real love can be missing. Real peace between each other can be absent. The reality of community is lost. We go through the motions, doing what we always do and forget to be real with each other.

Yesterday I saw a realness and rawness in the interaction between the people at church. I saw something very special and very beautiful. I saw community. I was privileged to be a part of it.


Sam Norton said...

Splendid - it's there for a reason. I've been told by some that they love the sharing of the peace because it's the only time in the week that they get touched - and we need to be touched to be alive and human.

Joe said...

It was so beautiful to see people interacting and hugging etc. You're right, in the act of touch people seem to come alive, it was apparent on Sunday.

I love sharing the peace. I hope we make it a regular practice.

It also seemed that in the simple act and silence of a hug people forgave each other.