Peace be with you!
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19)
Saturday, First Week of Easter
Father of all mercies, God of all comfort, in the face of all that causes fear, let us not be troubled but remember that perfect love casts out fear. Give us grace to trust in you and serve you so that we will not fear, and may face today and eternity with quiet confidence in your unchanging and abiding love. Amen
The disciples had real fears. Not only was their Messiah Jesus crucified and buried, it was done by their own religious leaders and their Roman oppressors. If the enemies of their Lord were able to neutralize the One who had power to heal diseases and quiet the storms with a word, what hope did they have? They were confused, uncertain about their future, and were living in fear behind locked doors.
Jesus came to reassure them. He was not a victim. He was the Victor! He overcame all for their sake. “Peace be with you!” he said.
The biblical word for peace in Hebrew is “Shalom.” Shalom is more than an absence of fear or war or conflict. Shalom is complete wholeness, well-being, health, life lived in fullness. Calmness of heart, joy in the soul, gratitude in one’s heart are all essential to Shalom.
In Jesus, we experience Shalom no matter what we are going through. Perfect love casts out fear. Jesus loved us perfectly. He gave his life so that we need not fear anything that this world throws at us, including illness, cancer, economic hardships, or a corona virus. Please note that Jesus does not promise us that we will not go through hardships or troubles in this life. He says just the opposite, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” (John 16)
Please pray for all of our front line workers in the health industry, first responders, police, firemen, nursing home care workers, grocers, and all essential workers. Pray for their shalom! And if you have a chance, encourage them with Jesus’ blessing, “Peace be with you!”
May God grant shalom to you and yours in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. Hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are in this together. We have help available if there are needs. Please let us know.