Practice, Practice, Practice

Training. Years ago I walked into a hospital with my mom and she stopped in the hallway with her eyes wide and a bit of delight and bewilderment on her face. “That’s me!” She pointed to the large mural on the wall ahead of us in the newly renovated wing of the hospital. There she was, photographed as a nursing student during a fire drill, carrying a patient down the stairs and out of the building. Even now it makes me smile to remember that moment with her.
Today there was a fire drill at the NLC. I remembered other adults talking about nuclear bomb drills, and my own school’s tornado drills, and my grandkid’s comments about intruder drills. I remembered that one of the interim tasks I usually ask for is an emergency drill on a Sunday morning.

I also thought of batting practice, putting greens and driving ranges, speaking in front of a mirror, all kinds of practice sessions people use to get ready for the big event. Church life in the gathered community is sometimes called “orthopraxis.” Being “orthodox,” means having right beliefs. Orthopraxy is doing right action—practicing faith.
But be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.  James 1: 22
When we share the peace of Christ, this is practice session for being people full of grace throughout the week. It is not a “hi, how are you.” The passing of the peace follows the prayer of confession and proclamation of grace and forgiveness specifically so that we can look the person next to us in the eye, someone who just heard and received the same good news we did, and say to them, as Christ forgives and frees you from your sins, so do I—may we live together in peace, or in the ritualized words of the moment: “Peace be with you!”
Let this word settle in your heart more fully as we practice every Sunday sharing the peace here so that you can share peace beyond this community.
Peace be with you!
Rev Bev