Believe the Good News
Rick Maupin of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
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.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” -John 20:19-23
…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear… In the United States billions of dollars are spent each year on securing or “locking” our homes. Wow! We are serious about keeping our doors locked, and we take extraordinary measures to lock or secure our electronic data also. Some reading this today have locked and set an alarm on their vehicles in the church parking lot. So what is the reason for all of this “locking”?
…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear…” The early disciples were fearful, and they were trying to decrease their vulnerability. All of our “locking” is for the same reason-we want to be less vulnerable. So we work hard to protect our homes, cars, data, and business dealings. But has the desire to be less vulnerable protecting our belongings also crept into our relationships with others and with God?
…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear…” People in the world today have been driven from their homelands, living as refugees. Others are experiencing oppression, living on the margins as the poor and forgotten. Every day over 25,000 children around the world die from causes linked to poverty. Do our efforts to be safer, less vulnerable, impact how we see the unwanted, the immigrant, the poor and oppressed? Have we locked them out because of our fear?
…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear…” The resurrection of Christ is not a call to hide safely behind locked doors. The call of the Resurrection is a call to be open and vulnerable to God and others. Embracing the Resurrection will move us out of our “locked rooms.”
“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).
Enter a time of prayer and hold the quote above by St. Irenaeus in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.