Peace be with you

Apparently, someone once asked Bertrand Russell, the 20th Century philosopher, “Lord Russell, what will you say, when you die and are brought face to face with your maker?”  He replied, “I shall say, ‘God, why did you make the evidence for your existence so insufficient?’”

In this reading, we see Jesus bringing to the disciples the evidence of his existence  – his presence amongst them.

How must the disciples have been feeling that evening as they sat in the room?  They are afraid of the Jewish authorities, and what might happen to them.  Would the blame be laid on them for the disappearance of the body?  And where was Jesus anyway?  Mary said that she had seen him alive.  He had spoken to her.  What was happening??   They had seen Jesus die – so how could he be alive??  What was happening? What was it all about? But Jesus leaves them, not in wondering and fear, but comes to them.  Into their need the risen Christ comes.  He comes to them – and brings them his peace.  They are not left alone and wondering, Jesus stands among them.

But Thomas wasn’t there that night, and without having seen Jesus himself, he finds it difficult to comprehend that Jesus can be alive.

Many things are so much easier to understand if we have seen them.  You can sit and read an instruction book for a long time, but someone showing you what happens makes it much easier to grasp.  I think perhaps it was like that for Thomas.  He just couldn’t get his head around it all.

But Jesus isn’t upset by that.  He doesn’t get annoyed with Thomas and say, ‘right that’s it, your loss not mine if you’re not going to take the other disciples word for it.’  No, Jesus come to Thomas too.  He meets with him in his confusion and doubting.  He lets Thomas reach out and touch him if he needs to.  He brings Thomas the peace that he needs.

God does that for us too, even if it were only us, he will come to us in his peace, allow us to touch him, as he touches us.  Whether we are afraid, confused, doubting, troubled or despairing, Jesus comes to us and says right where we are, “Peace be with you”.

But with the peace and presence of Jesus also comes a task.  Jesus breathes his peace through us – but then we have to go.  God’s peace is not just for us – God sends us.  The first challenge is to receive God’s peace, the second is to do something with it.  And so we too are commanded to go.  That’s our response to meeting Jesus – to go and share the knowledge, and the peace and presence that go with it.

So in these days of resurrection lets allow the peace of Jesus to breathe anew into us, and then with that inner peace, to go and share that with others.

~ by pamjw on April 7, 2010.

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