19 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.’ 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
Reflection by Lynne Buell
We are all familiar with this scripture when Jesus appears for the first time to the disciples in a house where the doors and windows were locked because they greatly feared the Jews. Jesus must have been mindful of their fear because he proved himself by showing his wounds on his hands and the side of his body. Jesus then says, “Peace be with you.” Our congregation says this at the end our worship services on Sunday. In the beginning of my faith journey, I assumed it meant ‘have a peaceful week.’ Plain and simple. But the meaning Jesus’ statement relayed was one beyond a cliché. His intent was to settle all the emotions and ragings the disciples were experiencing before their work was to begin. It sort of has the same meaning as my first thoughts of the statement, but not really. It takes on a calming effect for me when I think about Jesus’ reason for saying this to his disciples. The disciples were extremely frightened, and we have all experienced terrifying situations. Jesus’ intent was to show His love to them and assure them He will be with them whenever they needed Him. The bottom line is when you are faced with life’s anxieties, worries, and fears, Jesus will show up to address these issues and give us peace. So, peace be with you.
Let your peace override our fears and anxieties. Help us to know that you are with us every day. Amen.