17th Sunday after Pentecost
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
for Sunday, October 9, 2011
lectionary focus: Philippians 4:1-7-9
One day I asked my friend Zachary what his favorite part of the church service was. He said that his favorite part was the surprise. “What surprise?” I asked him. “You know,” he said, “where we remind each other to Be Surprised!” ?? Oh! Zachary was talking about the part of the service where we greet each other with the words “The Peace of Christ be with you.” When people said “Peace of Christ,” Zach heard “Be surprised.”
I think Zachary is right. The word surprise can mean something unexpected, but it can also mean to feel wonder or amazement. And The Peace of Christ is amazing! We should be surprised! We should be amazed! In our Bible story today, we are told not to worry, but to be gentle, to hope, to pray, and to rejoice; and in doing these good things, the Peace of Christ will fill our hearts. And when we are filled with the Peace of Christ, we feel WOW! And we want our family and friends to feel WOW! That is why today and every day, we should tell each other to be amazed by God’s astounding love that He has for each of us. We should tell each other to Be surprised! Therefore, repeat after me: The Peace of Christ be with you! (The children repeat.) Be surprised! (The children repeat.)
Now will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)
for the Peace of Christ.
to be surprised.
We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.