Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
What do you fear? Fear is pervasive in our world. We fear that harm might befall our children or that our finances won’t be secure. We fear what others may think of us or what others may do to us.
Jesus’ disciples were afraid that what happened to Jesus might also happen to them. And then Jesus showed up among them. “Peace be with you!” he said, and he repeated it more than once to his frazzled followers. At first blush one might think Jesus was out of touch with how his disciples were feeling. Jesus knew about their fear but offered assurance that his risen presence with them meant peace. Jesus’ risen presence among them signaled that they too were conquerors and had nothing to fear from earthly powers. Jesus now reigns over every square inch of this world, so, united to him in perfect love, they could live without fear (see 1 John 4:18).
In addition, Jesus breathed on his disciples. He actually exhaled his Spirit into them, who would always be with them as they were sent out to serve him.
You see, the peace of Christ isn’t simply a matter of a calm, cozy feeling. For us it’s a matter of being sent, unafraid, as Christ’s witnesses into the world, trusting that the Spirit of Christ will lead and guide and be with us always.
God of peace, you send us as your disciples into a world filled with turmoil. Fill us with the peace of Christ so that we may be channels of that peace to others. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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