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"Peace is my last gift to you. My peace, I leave with you."

I was with the choir when they were practicing some of the upcoming Holy Week and Easter music this week. Peace is my last gift to you is a moving song on Jesus' last words to his disciples from John's Gospel. With my announcement last Sunday that I will conclude my ministry at St. Hilda's by the end of June this year, the idea of last gift(s) and last things suddenly felt strangely personal. If you were not there last week to hear my announcement, you may refer to the "Transition Talk" column below that is in this Sunday’s bulletin.

The idea that peace was Christ's last gift to me and to us has captured my imagination this week. I am not Jesus, so I too like you am a fellow-receiver of his gift of peace. Earlier this week, I witnessed this peace at the KAIROS Blanket Exercise hosted by syiyaya Reconciliation Movement for some 80 members of shíshálh Nation staff and friends. If you ever wonder what reconciliation looks like, you have to participate in a Blanket Exercise to see with your own eyes how truth may set people free to reconcile with their past, with themselves, and with others. Over this 3-hour exercise, I saw many of my false assumptions exposed, stony hearts softened and restored to flesh, fears dispelled and replaced by hope. I wonder if that was what Good Friday and Easter morning about.

Peace is my last gift to you. This weekend, Raquel Joe from syiyaya Reconciliation Movement will be at St. Hilda's inviting us to weave reconciliation with her. Come by between 11:30 am - 2 pm Saturday or after church on Sunday to receive the gift of peace, one row and one story at a time.