Since you and I are talking via the Internet I know that we can’t see each other, but I hope we can see eye-to-eye metaphorically on this issue.
When it comes to the worship service, different styles abound. We all have our preferences. But here’s something that really annoys me in any service.
When the preacher joyfully proclaims, “The Peace of Christ be with you!”–I am annoyed if, while we are returning the just as joyous “And also with you!”…the preacher is busy gathering notes and notebooks and moving on to the next thing in the service. WHAT? I think, LOOK AT ME! Granted, the preacher cannot look at each of us at the same time, but they can look at the congregation. They can graciously receive God’s peace from us.
When we first started at Edgewood Presbyterian, I loved how Pastor Sid glowed and obviously enjoyed this holy moment. And after he retired, I did not let too many Sundays pass before I took young Pastor Joe aside and confronted him on his rush to prepare for the next moment in worship. “Joe, we are talking to you. This not some pointless call and response. We are heaping Peace all over you. Please, pause and accept it.” I think he was stunned: 1) that I criticized him, and 2) that I was right. To this day, Joe knows when I’m in church because at this point in the service, he’s looking right at me. And glowing.
The Peace of Christ be with you…
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