Peace Be with You! – Week of April 12, 2021
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Peace – that’s not the first word most teachers associate with a busy classroom. Children play, shout out answers, sometimes argue. The classroom can be a joyful, noisy place, but peaceful? Not so often.
Peace – that’s probably not how the disciples were feeling that first Easter evening. They saw their Savior put on trial, crucified, and buried. Would they be next? Then some women told them that Jesus was alive. But that would be too good to be true. Confused, sad, scared – that’s what the disciples likely felt.
Peace – that was the first word Jesus said to his astonished disciples when he appeared to them in that locked room. With the realization that their Savior was alive, the disciples truly could have peace in their hearts. This peace was better than any earthly peace. Before his death, Jesus had told his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus brings everlasting peace. Troubles of this world will fade away, but we have what we need for eternity. We are washed clean of our sins, we will conquer death, and we will join Jesus in heaven. That is peace.
Jesus told his disciples not to keep this peace to themselves. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21). The disciples’ lifework became sharing that peace with the world. We also are sent to share God’s peace. Every day we get to share the special news with our students: “Jesus loves you. Jesus took your sins away. Jesus will always be with you.” And they share that peace with us too. When they sing their Jesus songs and proclaim their faith, they strengthen us. And when they go home and share what they’ve learned, Jesus’ peace is spread even further.
Peace isn’t a quiet classroom. Peace is a classroom of people who talk about Jesus, who know his love and share that love with others, who sing and pray and praise God. Peace be with you.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for bringing me true peace through your death and resurrection. Let that knowledge strengthen me so I can share your peace with others. Amen.