Friday, March 6, 2015

The Kiss of Peace

This devotional was written by Pastor Steve for the "Night Watch" at Discovery Weekend.

John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I went to see “Bye Bye Birdie” last weekend at Arab High School. What an incredible show! I had seen it before, and knew a few of the songs. But I had never seen it performed so flawlessly. I’m so proud of the talent in our community.

“Bye Bye Birdie” is about a huge rock and roll star of the 60's who was drafted for the army (I assume it’s based on the true story of Elvis Presley). His assistant thinks he can make a fortuneand marry his girlfriend, if he gets Conrad on the Ed Sullivan show to kiss a high school girl goodbye. So it’s all about that kiss.

Have you ever thought about how God has given us a BIG kiss? Obviously, it’s not the kind of kiss you can get from Conrad Birdie. It’s more like the kiss my mother used to give me on the cheek to wish me goodnight. It’s the kind of kiss that makes you feel warm and safe, the kinds of kiss that makes you feel special.

This kiss is called the peace of Christ. He gave it to his disciples when he was saying goodbye. He knew he was going to die and that they would miss him, at least until he rose again. So he gave them one last kiss, the kiss of his peace.

The reason am calling it the “kiss of peace” is because in the ancient church, people actually did that. They puckered up and kissed each other during worship, and called it “the kiss of peace.

For obvious reasons we don’t do it anymore … we shake hands and give hugs! But it still means the same thing. We pass the peace of God to one another.

So let God “kiss you goodnight” tonight. His gentle presence brings you a “peace that passes all understanding.”

PRAYER: Dear God, you promised us a peace that passes all understanding. That means it’s a peace that makes no sense. Sometimes we don’t feel a whole lot of peace in our lives, but you said you do not give it to us as the world gives. Tonight, help melt away the trouble in our hearts and take away our fears. Help us feel your presence. In Jesus’s name, Amen.