The scripture reading for today is John 20:19-31.
19 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.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
You know how sometimes you just need a jolt to reset your thinking?
For the past three days, I’ve been caught in a downward spiral … an avalanche of complexity, consternation, questions and coordination brought on by the coronavirus. What are the steps Tom and I need to take? How vulnerable are Mom and Dad? What about Tiffany and Aaron’s beautiful wedding on April 3rd now that no more than 10 may gather together, the venue has cancelled, and money is lost? Will Brittany be able to get back into the states from New Zealand before the borders close; and does she need to self-quarantine? How do we evolve “together” as Living Lord Lutheran Church? And on….
Then I read the scripture for today’s devotion. The words, “Peace be with you” gave me the jolt I needed to reset my thinking. Suddenly, I could breathe. What beautiful words! What an awesome greeting! But wait … this is so much more than a greeting! This is a gift that only God can give. He gave it to his disciples. And he gives it to us. With these words, Jesus calls us to put our faith, hope, and love in God, and thereby obtain an inner peace that no wound or suffering can destroy.
Dear God, who has defeated sin and Satan through the life, death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, help us walk in complete confidence today … knowing you are with us always. Amen
Prayer Concern – Those who need the peace that knowing Jesus Christ can bring.