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
As I was talking with a congregation member, we were lamenting that our day-to-day schedules had been disrupted because we’re now working from home offices and our usual responsibilities have changed. There is a sense of being like a fish out water. “What do I need to do today?” “For that matter, what day is it?”
As our conversation continued, we shifted into thoughts about how different Easter will feel this year. My friend on the other end of the line said, “I think we’ll likely feel like the disciples did…a little lost and wondering what to do.”
I thought about those disciples on that first Easter, locked inside, grieving and fearing the unknown consequences of what had just happened. And, I thought about all of us, sheltering at home, trying to stay safe and well and fearing the unknown consequences of a virus we cannot see.
Just as Jesus tends to do, He showed up unexpectedly. He came into the room and said, “Peace be with you.” I expect that on this Easter Day, Jesus will come into each of our homes, as we gather together around screens and monitors to worship online. And, He will say to us in one way or another, “Peace be with you.”
I suspect that Jesus has already been showing up behind the closed doors of our homes…when we share the peace via text or email, in conversations to check-in with friends or family, when an act of kindness is shared, and when we’re comforted at a moment when we just don’t know what to do.
Jesus is never far away. He is always with us in our grief and disappointment, in our disorientation, and in our fear. Take a moment and listen. Hear his words. “Peace be with you.”
Prayer: Lord Christ, you came into the world as one of us, and suffered as we do. As we go through the trials of life, help us to realize that you are with us at all times and in all things; that we have no secrets from you; and that your loving grace enfolds us for eternity. In the security of your embrace we pray. Amen. (from Evangelical Lutheran Worship)
Deaconess Student Emily Edwards, Newton, NC