Going Deeper 4-26-19

The Gospel reading for Easter 2...
John 20:19-31   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."  But Thomas (who was called the Twin ), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord."  But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."  A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them.  Although the doors were shut, 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."  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.  But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

"Peace be with you."  Three times in this text Jesus greets His disciples in this way.  That is Jesus' Easter greeting for all of His followers then and now and in-between: "Peace be with you." 

To those who in spite of years of teaching and training had still deserted Him at His hour of greatest need, just as He had predicted, Jesus said: "Peace be with you."  To the one who may have still been weeping after denying Jesus, just as He had predicted, Jesus said: "Peace be with you."  ​To the one who had doubted the report that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to them, Jesus said: "Peace be with you." "Peace be with you." 

To those of us who feel that we have let Him down too many times, Jesus says, "Peace be with you."  To those of us who have denied our faith-- or have failed to proclaim our faith when we have had the opportunity, Jesus says, "Peace be with you."  To those who have too often doubted the truth of the Gospel, Jesus says, "Peace be with you."  ​ 

What an incredible gift it is to have "Peace" proclaimed over the turmoil within and around our lives!  In all of the times of adversity, failure, stress, worry, fatigue, and doubting our Savior wants us to receive the same gift: "Peace be with you." ​

With You in His Peace, 
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

   May 2019   
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