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May peace be within you

When we have peace, we are truly blessed.

I read a story recently about BlessU-2, a robotic priest, who offers blessings when activated by a tap on its touch screen chest. A weary pilgrim can even stipulate which language — as long as it is German, English, French, Spanish or Polish. When the blessing is offered, BlessU-2 raises its robot arms and pronounces a blessing. Really? Really.

I just can't wrap my head around that yet. Maybe someday I will be blessed by a BlessU-2 robot and not think anything of it. Really? Nope.

There is something deep within us that seeks blessings such as blessings of hope, peace, security, and that all might be well with us and our loved ones. God wants us to have peace. Peace is a huge theme in the Bible. Jesus talks about the peace he wants to leave with us. Check out Psalm 122 that lists several blessings from God.

The apostle Paul prays that the "peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:8).

I have never gotten comfortable with the "virtual church thing" where you can pick an avatar to sit in a virtual seat in a virtual worship space and be "virtually in worship," and let your avatar receive the blessing of word, song, prayer, and proclamation incognito. Yes folks, this does exist!

And for me, the one thing about blessings is that they are special not only when received, but when given. Pastors receive the blessing of being able to share in proclaiming God's peace and hope upon his/her congregants. God's peace resides within him/her as well as the congregation.

I don't believe the church leadership will be calling a robot pastor anytime soon, so rest assured the next pastor after me will be receiving joy upon joy because he/she is able to bless you and help you recognize the blessings within yourself.

Now, as I conclude my ministry here, I want to offer you this blessing.

May they prosper who love you;

May peace be within your walls;

May you have security in your towers, and

May peace be within you.

The church exists in part so that the people of the church can bless each other and to bring the word of peace. Thanks be to God that I have witnessed that here at Spring Creek, and can leave this congregation with your peace that blesses me.

Feeling blessed with peace within me,

Pastor Steve

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