In flu season, we avoid shaking hands with each other for fear that we will pass the virus to others, or that others will pass the virus to us. We believe in germs. We believe in viruses. We believe in transmission. We believe in hand sanitizers.
Some people do not participate in “the passing of the peace” because they fear they will inadvertently be passing germs and viruses to each other. They firmly believe they can transmit germs, but do they firmly believe that they can transmit peace?
The passing of peace may not be firmly rooted in science, but it is firmly rooted in faith. When we shake each other’s hand, fist bump, or touch each other’s shoulder and say something as simple and “Peace be with you” ~ we literally pass peace each unto the other. We transmit the virus of peace and we infect each other. And it has a lasting effect.
Imagine if we “passed the peace” before we went to war. Imagine if opposing sides at sporting events passed the peace before the games began. You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.
May the peace of God shine upon you; and out from within you; and bring you… Peace.
Dwight Lee Wolter is the pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island, New York and the author of several books. He blogs at dwightleewolter.com