“Peace be with you” was the functional equivalent in Jesus’ time of “Hello” or perhaps “How are you doing?” so it hardly seems worth spending any time talking about his use of it in today’s Gospel lesson (Luke 24:36b-48) . . . so why did I? Not only did I mention it in both sermons, the title was “Peace be with you” and it is virtually all I talked about.
There are times when we transcend the social niceties that ordinarily don’t require a response to the literal meaning of what is said. There are times when people ask how we are doing and actually want to know. In this case, when we look at the context, it seems pretty clear to me that Jesus’ desire for peace being with his followers was far more than just one of those niceties.
What is more, I think that this desire that Jesus is expressing was not limited to his followers but extends to us, that is, he wants peace to be with us, even when we come face to face with him.
Knox Presbyterian Peace be unto you
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Peace be unto you
These sermons are bit shorter than I sometimes preach so if you have ever thought of listening to both but were not able to devote that much time to it . . . this just might be the week to give it a go.