Friday, May 2, 2014

Peace is Possible

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid." John 14:27  I've said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.” John 16:32-33        
What would it mean to receive Christ's peace?

It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:27

We're a multitasking, ADD culture. And fidgeting with many things challenges our brains and can jeopardize our physical safety. In a quiet moment alone, we may be especially confronted with the cacophony of our own racing thoughts. We can't run away from ourselves, no matter how good at avoidance we may be.

But while solitude can nurture and strengthen us if we let it, isolation is a captivity all its own. Isolation seems to have been a real temptation for the disciples in the post Easter narrative of John. After running scared, they were in hiding behind "locked doors." The natural response to fear is usually to run and hide.

Jesus always seems to show up, even through our locked doors. In John 3 and 4, Jesus enters into the shame of a Nicodemus and a nameless Samaritan woman. For Nicodemus, it was fear of being found out: he was a leading teacher and yet was coming to Jesus with total lack of answers about spiritual life with God. For the Samaritan woman, it was the addictive pattern of the past and another toxic relationship in a continuing cycle of brief and broken ones.

Yet our way of fixing things causes more, not less, pain. Into the mess that we create, Jesus Christ speaks his peace. The Spirit is breathed on the disciples, and even as the wind moves across the waters of Genesis 1, so are we are recreated in the presence of the living Christ. 

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