Prayer: Dear God, may all your people feel your unrelenting peace and greet one another with your love. Amen
Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
This passage is so powerful! It comes from the end of one of Paul’s letters, where it is customary that he gives them a charge, or challenge. Here the challenge is to rejoice as the body of Christ, build-up one another, and live in peace. This reminds me of a practice that many of us hold dear to our hearts – the passing of the peace. This may look different in different settings and congregations throughout the year – a wave, a handshake, or a hug – my favorite is a hug. This is one of the ways the camp staff usually ends the week, a restorative part of staff worship.
We may not be able to greet one another with a “holy kiss” or hug right now (and perhaps you’d rather not take part in that practice, pandemic or not), but there are surely many other ways we can encourage and send greetings of God’s peace to one another! Wearing a cloth face covering in public may cover your smile, but smiling is evident in your whole face. In my case my yes get super squinty when I smile and that is something I can still share with my neighbors. Continue to send cards, emails, emojis, and phone calls. Continue to use your actions and words to build-up your neighbors, and smile! The positive and peace attitude that radiates from a smile is still contagious.
(Cartoon by Stephan Pastis)
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