Today’s Reading: John 20:19 (NIV)
19 On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
It was anything but peaceful on the week that Jesus rose from the grave. Roman soldiers assigned to guard the tomb were punished for allowing the “dead” prisoner to escape. Rumors were flying all around the city as the Sanhedrin made inquiries and sought out potential grave robbers. All of Jesus’ closest friends and family were in imminent physical danger. They found themselves hiding away out of the public purview, confused by all that had occurred. The disciples wanted to believe Mary, and hoped that they would get to see their beloved Jesus alive! Still, they wondered how all this could have possibly happened.
Deep down inside, they knew it was true. Jesus told them what would happen, that the Son of Man would be handed over to evil men who would kill him, and on the third day He would rise again. Yet, it was their fear that kept them locked behind closed doors, unwilling to share what they knew to be true. Fear has a way of keeping the truth bottled up. Have you ever remained silent to protect your heart from the harsh judgment of others?
It is often easier to keep matters of faith tucked away where others cannot get to it, to pick it apart, like vultures looking for fresh meat. If any of you have ever shared your faith on a social networking site or group email, then I am certain you understand the vulnerability that comes with taking a stand, whether it be on a particular theological view or a social justice issue. We fear that our words will come back to bite us, that others might develop some preconceived notion of who we are and, as a result, accept us into their circle of friends. We are labeled by religious tags, which tend to build walls rather than break them down. If we cannot find the courage to share our faith with others, how will others ever learn about the amazing love of God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ?
When Jesus came and stood among the disciples, He said, “Peace be with you.” Their every fear simply melted away in the presence of Jesus. It is in Christ’s presence daily, that we find strength and courage to go into the world, and share His message with others. Do not let fear keep you locked behind closed doors. Free your heart for service today. Choose to walk in Christ’s peace. It is His peace that passes all human understanding.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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