As I mentioned earlier, I’m reading A More Profound Alleluia, edited by Leanne Van Dyk and I’ve really been enjoying it. In the second chapter, "Confession and Assurance – Sin and Grace", William Dryness writes about that part of worship in which we confess our sins and hear the assurance of pardon. After the assurance, in many congregations the people are encouraged to pass the peace of God. Dryness says that when people turn to one another and say “good morning” it is a missed opportunity. He says:
When we look at one another and say, “the peace of the Lord Jesus be with you” we are extending to one another the reality that, having been reconciled to God, we are reconciled to one another.
I like this a lot. For the first time, I realized that this act of passing the peace is much more than just a churchy way of saying hello. It is a significant act of rejoicing in the unity that we have as brothers and sisters in Christ.