October 17, 2010

"Peace Be With You!" (Again)

John 14:25-27; 20:19-21

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


Twice on the first Easter Sunday, Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace be with you!”

The first time Jesus said it, he took away the disciples’ fear.

As he said it the second time, we can almost hear the lock turn and see the door open. For after saying “Peace be with you!” this second time, Jesus immediately added, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Where? Outside!

Jesus doesn’t want his followers locked up in a room, afraid of what’s outside. He wants us outside, in the world—the world his Father loves and wants to redeem.

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Wouldn’t it be easier for most of us if Jesus had said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending a couple of you; the rest of you can stay safely inside”?

But Jesus wants us all outside!

As his disciples, we come inside, into our churches, to be forgiven, encouraged, instructed, and blessed. Then we are sent outside, to our factories, farms, schools, homes, and other workplaces, where we speak and act like Jesus did. And as we go out, we hear Jesus say, “Peace be with you, out here, and ‘I am with you always’” (see Matthew 28:20).

Dear Jesus, thank you that your peace goes with us wherever we go today. May I live with you and for you, held securely by your peace. 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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