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Peace Within

“Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you’ … Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” [John 20:19b, 26b] 

 

The disciples and others were huddled behind locked doors. This is so easy for us church folk to do. We don’t necessarily lock our doors, but figuratively we stay huddled in our churches, often fearful of what lies outside. And into these fears Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” Peace not as the world gives, but deep peace within that can transcend our circumstances.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that “the church is only the church when it exists for others.” Which means to be the church we desperately need this peace Christ offers those huddled in the upper room. We live in challenging times and to be fair it would be far easier to stay huddled in safety, taking care of only ourselves. Yet, this is not what it means to be the church. Jesus says to us as he did to his disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you!” The church is to be sent, not huddled, and figuratively locked behind the safety of our walls. As Amy Frykholm says, “We don’t attend church. We are the church, which means we’re engaged [in being sent]!” The good news is that we are not sent out alone, but with the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. May we dare to be God’s sent people.

 

Prayer

Loving God, I like to be comfortable. I admit this readily, because to be sent into the world is frightening given the perplexity of issues in our day. What can I possibly do to make a difference. Help me to receive your peace and Spirit, so that I have the courage to make a difference one life at a time. Amen.



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