“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” (John 20:19 NKJV)
The news was out among the disciples. Mary had brought the news back, others had seen Jesus. By this time, the two disciples who had gone to Emmaus were probably back. All the disciples had heard that Jesus had come back from the dead. Yet there they were, hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. Perhaps they thought the Jews were going to arrest them for their association with Jesus, or maybe even for robbing the grave, since the body was gone. Jesus appeared in the midst of the disciples with a simple message: peace. The antidote for fear is peace, and the source of peace is Jesus Christ.
There are lots of things that we could say about this encounter, but the focal point today is peace. We live in a world of conflict. We are part of a culture that seeks to build an economy based on envy, discontent, and “keeping up with the Joneses.” Sometimes, it seems like we feel like we have to live behind locked doors to avoid the strife and conflict. There is a better way, though. Instead of hiding from the world of conflict, let’s enter that world with the message of peace with God found in Jesus Christ. We, as followers of Jesus who are at peace with God have an amazing message that overcomes the power of strife in this world: people living in conflict can experience peace with God through Jesus Christ. Our message of peace is more powerful than anything the world can offer, so let’s live in peace and share the message of reconciliation with God.
Lord, everywhere I look I see strife and discontent. We live in a world filled with wars and rumors of war. Thank You for the gift of peace. Let my words proclaim Your peace and my life reflect it as I share Your love and grace with others.