Peace be with you…and also with you.”

The offering of peace within the church has always been the one part of the service I’ve loved. As I’ve been to family church , the handshake was often changed to a hi five or fist bump, but now I’ve taken myself to the rather small and intimate service, I return back to the good old handshake. I prefer this.

So where did this originate? It is believed that Jesus came offering peace as he appeared to his apostles, after his resurrection.

I like this part of the service, as it’s like a warm welcome of each other, a unity that we are all there for the same purpose and are all on the same level. It’s nice to see the regular members of the congregation. To smile and feel their warmth. They are like another little part of my extended family that do bring comfort.

To wish someone peace is a beautiful gift. You want them to feel free of any troubles or upset. To feel tranquil. When I was little I’d often here my mum ask through gritted teeth “ Can you just give me some peace” and now I hear myself saying that to my children. I really value peace.

Peace in that sense is headspace. Quiet. A time to think and be in the moment. Meditation gives me that time. I love my meditation each day…I now try to add in an extra one. It grounds me and allows for thoughts to pass. That time quietens my busy mind and let’s me breathe. That is peace.

As I write this blog, I am sat in the garden. I’m listening to the sound of the water feature in the background, sipping on a refreshing drink-looking up at the bluetit that has attracted my attention, whilst Ted ( my pup) snoozes under the shade of the umbrella. The scent of the honeysuckle and the hum of the bees penetrate my senses and I am at peace. Peace brings a sense of calm in a busy world.

When I visit my church and peace is offered I gratefully take it, just as I am gratefully taking this peace right now as I know before long I’ll be interrupted by questions from my boys ( usually about food) and the hustle and bustle of family life.

Peace is a gift…accept it gratefully, enjoy it, indulge in it, appreciate it and never take it for granted.

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