This week our Sunday Scripture will take us to a locked room (post-Easter & pre-resurrected Jesus’ experiences). In a way the disciples grieving together in a locked room, fearful of what might happen to them if they were out and about and recognized as a follower of Jesus, may seem like it has nothing to do with our lives. But, I think of all those who quietly carry burdens and worries. As humans we love others–and we worry for them when they have struggles in their lives. We lose people we love and appreciate others’ care and concern. Yet, sometimes we need to be alone and not talk about it. We face medical issues and even with the care of physicians and nurses, there is a part of our journeys they can’t walk for us. Tonight the Moorhead Police Chaplains are hosting a 7 PM “opiate education” gathering at Christ the King Lutheran because every 12.5 minutes a person in our nation dies from an opiate overdose. All ages are affected and a wide variety of families are affected. To be human is to face struggles.
The power of Sunday’s Scripture from John 20:19-31 can be glimpsed in these words, “while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid…, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19b). Perhaps there is no more powerful moment than when the risen Christ steps into our deepest fears and hurts to speak a word of peace. Whatever you might be facing today, my prayer is that Jesus’ word of peace will come soon, and as often as needed. My prayer for Grace Church is that we will be the people who work with Jesus to bring that word of peace and hope where ever and whenever it is needed.
If you are carrying a worry or fear today, I invite you to close your eyes for a moment. Name the fear or worry. Then imagine Jesus stepping along side of you, placing a hand on your shoulder, and saying, “I bring peace and will walk with you through this.” Let the risen Christ speak to your heart.