The Rector's Letter - October 2017
The Churches of St Lawrence,
All Saints, Little Bookham

'Peace be with you@

During each of our Communion Services, there comes a very poignant point when ‘The Peace’ is shared amongst those present. It is a wonderful opportunity to say ‘Peace be with you’ and shake the hand of a stranger, or give a hug to a loved one. For visitors to our churches, this will be the point when they can really feel a warm welcome from those around them.

Although the traditional Book of Common Prayer Communion Service does not include this liturgy, there are the special words in the blessing, ‘the peace of the Lord which passes all understanding, keep your heart and mind in the knowledge of God’.

So peace-giving and peace- sharing is fundamental to our Christian worship.
In November, we remember those who have died in war, in particular during the 1st and 2nd World War, but also during every subsequent war and conflict.

We may not currently be at war as a nation, but we do not have to look far for news of conflict, terrorism, hatred and stories of inhumanity. Sometimes, it can feel over-whelming, and yet Sunday by Sunday we continue to wish each other peace.

Is it that Christians are wishful thinkers or simply preaching ‘Pie in Sky’. I think not. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he writes ‘since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ ( Romans 5: 1). Despite our world situation, we still have a message of God’s peace to share.

Secondly, our faith encourages us to have a relationship with God and our neighbours. Often peace can be restored, as relationships are nurtured.

Finally, Jesus tells us that we are each, individually, responsible for peace within our immediate vicinity; ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God’ (Matthew 5: 9).

So as we enter this season of Remembrance, we should be encouraged, that God-given peace is possible and well worth celebrating each time we meet to worship.

May your October and November be particularly peace-filled,
Your Rector,

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