November 29, 2013

Stuck in Fear, Sent Out With Peace

John 20:19-23

“Peace be with you!”
—John 20:19


On Easter Sunday Jesus’ disciples gathered in a room and locked the door. They were afraid that the people who had killed Jesus would want to get them too.

But Someone came in anyway, as if the door weren’t even there! And the one who came in was Jesus! He said, “Peace be with you!” And he might well have meant, “Peace be with you, you scared, door-locking disciples.”

Then he showed them his hands and side. For on them were the scars of battle between life and death, between God and the enemy. Jesus had taken everything the enemy could throw his way. And there he was, alive! “The disciples were overjoyed.”

Then Jesus said again, “Peace be with you!” And he gave his followers a mission: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Where was Jesus sending them? Into the world, where people live and die. Into the world, where men and women are easily overwhelmed and defeated. Into the world, where it’s hard to experience true peace.

Jesus doesn’t want his disciples hiding in locked rooms; he wants us out in the world with the message of life on our lips and acts of life in our hands. And as we go, he says, “Peace be with you!”

Resurrected Lord, grant us your peace so that, in a world of violence, struggle, and death, we may confidently claim and put into practice the truth of your victory over sin and death. 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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