In putting together the video above, I came across a clip of a pastor teaching the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “Peace be with you.” Unlike the gesture popularized in the 1960s of two fingers held up in the shape of a V, the sign for peace is actually a compound sign. First, palms are rotated over one another in the sign for ‘become.’ Then the hands are lowered in the sign for ‘calm’ or ‘still’. To complete the phrase, “Peace be with you,” the compound sign for peace is followed by the sign for ‘with’ and ‘you.’
So the literal translation of “peace be with you” in ASL is, “become still with you.” I love this idea because it embodies how peace is a communal act. Peace only becomes possible when we’re willing to come together and do the hard work of being reconciled to one another.
A couple weeks ago, we read how Jesus breathed and bestowed peace on the disciples as they were gathered together in a room after his death and seeming disappearance of his body. As his first words to them after his resurrection, peace becomes primary to what it means to live into the radical new reality of the resurrection. This means practicing resurrection is about cultivating peace with others, with God, and with ourselves.
Moving forward, how we pass the peace might look different, but no matter what it looks like, we will continue to pursue the same spirit of peace that Christ calls us to embody in the world.
In Love & Peace,