September 5, 2021
Congregations of many denominations extend the peace of Christ with a blessing during their service. “The peace of Christ be with you (and also with you).” It is a blessing offered and a blessing returned in kind. Extending the peace of Christ is part of an active, engaged faith — a witness to what it means for us to be building the household of God.
In God’s house, people who are different from each other in almost every way live together and seek ways to bring about Christ’s peace in every part of our lives. We speak out and claim the truth in Second Thessalonians, “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways.” In our church gatherings, we practice offering Christ’s peace, trusting that the blessing offered will also be returned.
It’s easy to see peacemaking in the world as some distant impossibility, too vast and unrealistic to ever engage in effectively as individuals. A Season of Peace is meant to help us remember that engaging with our own internal conflicts, building healthy relationships with each other, grappling with issues of justice in our communities and re-imagining international relations are crucially interconnected steps on the path of peacemaking.
Daily reflections during A Season of Peace are designed to help participants explore practices for building peace on every scale. This monthlong pilgrimage is designed to deepen the pursuit of peace for congregations, small groups, families, and individuals. This year’s reflections are designed to help participants explore the various forms of peacemaking through the arts.
A Season of Peace begins Sept. 5 and culminates on Oct. 3, World Communion Sunday, when the Peace & Global Witness Offering is received.
We are the church, together. We are peacemakers, together. We are the builders of God’s household of peace. And when, together, we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Bryce Wiebe, Director of Special Offerings, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 5, 2021, the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
First Reading Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Second Reading James 2:1-10 (11-13) 14-17
Gospel Mark 7:24-37
Today’s Focus: A Season of Peace begins
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Fred Tangeman, Communications Specialist, Presbyterian Historical Society
Allison Taylor, Art Director, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation
Let us pray
Gracious God, sharpen our vision through the eyes of Christ, that we might practice your peace, at all times and in all ways. Amen.