Main readings: Acts 5.27-32; Ps 118.14-29; Revelation 1.4-8; John 20.19-31
Supplementary readings: Ps 114; Revelation 1.9-20; 1 Corinthians 15.50-58; Ps 150; Matthew 28.1-15
“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you”.” (John 20.19)
Crossing the road and lost in thought, a person looks up and is immediately paralysed by fear as a fast-moving vehicle cuts in front. A heroic figure dashes forward, knocking the pedestrian away from the vehicle’s path. I’d like to be the heroic figure in this scene, yet I’d more likely be the comic relief who trips, leaving us both to perish.
The disciples were lost in fear and unable to know where to turn even after an intensive three years with Jesus. Perhaps we can relate. We’ve read our Bibles and prayed and worshipped with others, yet we sometimes get stuck and paralysed, uncertain of where to turn. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t wait for us to get life worked out before making his peace known to us. When we’re scared, Jesus’ presence can come in a way that alleviates our fear.
When we’re focused on all we’re not, Jesus reminds us who we are as God’s children, enabled through the Holy Spirit to share God’s peace. When our doubt makes it hard to even believe fellow Christians or when we try to tell God how to prove that things will be ok, God graciously meets us in a personal way that lets us respond – “My Lord and my God!”
In the midst of life’s troubles, if we rest in the peace of Jesus, it can remove our doubts and bring peace. We might not be a heroic figure who save the day, but we can be a beautiful example of peace that leads others to life in Jesus’ name.