Recently we were asked to present some talks at our home church as an introduction to worship and we thought we would publish some that material here as a series of blog posts – we hope you enjoy them.
The Peace Reaction
The story is told of the Anglican Vicar who liked to start his service each Sunday with the words of ‘The Peace’. “The peace of the Lord be always with you,” he would say, and the congregation would always, respond, “…and also with you”.
One Sunday there was a bit of a technical problem, so the first thing that was audible over the PA was the words, “…there seems to be a problem with this microphone…” – to which the congregation responded, “…and also with you.”
‘The Peace’ comes from a part of Anglican services which, for some folk, is the most uncomfortable moment imaginable and, consequently, the blessing, “The peace of the Lord be always with you” doesn’t particularly bless them because they silently dread what follows shortly afterwards; “Let us offer one another a sign of peace”; when people wander around the church and greet each other with the words “Peace be with you” – some with a smile, some with a handshake, many with a hug …and that’s the problem.
Depending on your personality type; how shy or confident you are about yourself and with other people and also how well I know the other person; how comfortable (and safe) you feel with them a hug can be the most amazing or the most uncomfortable thing in the world.
As we’ll see later on in this series, how we approach (or respond to) God in worship will be affected by how comfortable (and safe) we feel with Him.