Jane Fahey wrote, "Words are such fragile instruments for bearing the weight of the holy." Yet words are all we have for hearing what God wants us to know. In saying this, I am not in any way discounting inspired writers like Philip Yancey, N. T. Wright, and Eugene Peterson. They too are messengers as they help me interpret and apply what I read.
Yet, it seems to me that words in religious settings often have their shallowest meanings and purposes. Picture this greeting at the church door: "How are you?" "Fine, how are you?" Often said as each person is striding forward into worship. Compare this with Paul's greetings in various books: "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." How long has it been since you wished someone grace and peace? Maybe the Spirit needs to help us expand our vocabulary. Warmer and more personal--yes. I have a friend who asks me, "How is it with your spirit today?" As a member of the "greeting team" at Otter, I struggle with what to say to each person who passes me. Maybe just
Grace and peace.