Peace Be with You on Your Journey
By Robin Linkhart of Longmont, CO, USA
… Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” …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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 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.” —John 20:19, 27–29 NRSV
Brittany was restless and unsettled the day she met Community of Christ. Months spent pondering difficult questions left her heart carrying the unraveled pieces of a lifetime of faith. She ached to put them back together. She had no idea what the future held, but somehow her husband persuaded her to come meet this church he had found. Against her judgment, she packed up the baby and 3-year-old twins to attend the last two days of family camp.
As Brittany tells it, within an hour of arrival, the message of peace, inclusion, and acceptance rang loud and clear. “I felt safe and comfortable, like I had come home.” There was no turning back.
The young family became regular attendees of the local congregation, and Brittany began to knit together the strands of her faith. Doubts still bubbled up, especially when family and friends questioned and ridiculed her decision, but she bravely persisted.
One Sunday afternoon I opened an e-mail from her and read, “I’m not sure what exactly happened at church today, but all my doubts fled, and I found bravery. I still have points I want to go over with you, but I made up my mind. Community of Christ isn’t a stepping-stone for us on our journey. It is the journey.”
Amid questions, fear, and doubt, Brittany dared to trust. The healing action of God’s love broke through, and she experienced the presence of the Living Christ. Her heart sang the words of Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” as peace flowed into the cracks of her heart. One day at a time, the Spirit breathed into her aching soul, and the future became clear.
Four months later Brittany and her husband celebrated their baptism and confirmation. Now Brittany is the one persuading friends to “Come and meet this little church I found.”
Prayer for Peace
Mysterious God, we have not seen the wounds Christ bears, and yet we believe. Our church may be small, but a small seed is all it takes. We share our faith as we share Christ’s peace.
Spiritual Practice: Invite People to Christ
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing of the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. “Be persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this phrase throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”
Today, God, I will pause on my journey to make sure I leave no one behind.