“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 (NRSV)
Among the many things the arrival of COVID-19 did in our world was bring rapid change. We were quickly told to change our personal and interactive habits. Stay six feet away from each other. Work from home. Teach and learn from home. Worship from home. Don’t shake hands, and certainly wash your hands more frequently.
Rapid change often feels unsettling and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, one of the great gifts Jesus gives to his disciples during his resurrection is the gift of peace. When he appeared to them on that first Easter evening, the fact that “the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews” seems to indicate that though they had heard that Jesus had risen from the dead, their hearts and their minds were still caught in the chaos, confusion, and fear his crucifixion brought.
Amazingly, the peace that Christ extends doesn’t require the disciples to overcome their fears and anxieties before they experience it. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Jesus appears and brings his peace in the midst of their fear and anxiety.
Christ’s same peace is available to us today in the midst of our turbulent, confusing times. He doesn’t promise that everything will go smoothly, but he does continue to offer his presence and his peace. Even in the midst of all that has changed in our day, we can trust that he is with us whatever we are going through. Because of his presence we can have his peace – even when we can’t summon our own.
May you know God’s peace this and every day.
Rev. John Reasons is Senior Pastor of Bellville UMC, Houston. If you are ever in the area, their congregation would love for you to worship with them.
COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of our lives and impacted all of us. While the process of ministry is changing, the responsibility to help those in need has not. Please share these reflections from pastors around the Texas Annual Conference with your friends: https://www.txcumc.org/coviddevotionals.
If you would like to share a devotional, please contact Shannon W. Martin, Director of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.