October 16, 2010

"Peace Be With You!"

John 20:19-20

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved … let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
Colossians 3:12-15


It was Easter Sunday, and the disciples were afraid that those who had killed Jesus might now come for them. They were afraid of powerful people and deadly forces outside, so they went inside and locked the door. Fear locks doors.

But Someone came in anyway! It was Jesus—coming from the outside, through the locked door, and into the room! The first thing he said was “Peace be with you!” Then he showed them his hands and his side.

We can understand why he would say, “Peace be with you!”—for his disciples were afraid. But why show them his hands and side? Because on them were the scars of what the most powerful, evil, and deadly forces did to try to silence him and get rid of him.

Yet there he was—alive!—with scars from their attacks, but nothing more. Those forces couldn’t stop him.

We need to hear those words too. Peace be with you, scared disciples! There is no one and no thing that can defeat you or do you ultimate harm. They couldn’t stop Jesus, and they can’t stop you!

Jesus doesn’t want his followers to be afraid. After all, who or what is there to be afraid of, now that Jesus has proved he is stronger than all other powers and deadly forces?

Jesus, some of us face political danger or family opposition because we are your disciples. Others of us fear ridicule, rejection, or embarrassment. Take away our fears, and grant us your peace, we pray. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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