John 20:19 (NIV)
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!”
The word "peace" has been used a great deal during the last number of years. Every time we turn on the television, we hear people talking about peace in places where there are wars and uprisings: in the Middle East, in Syria in particular, and in a number of African countries as well. There are a lot of negotiations, but there does not seem to be a lasting peace.
May the fifth, 1945, was when Canadian soldiers liberated the Dutch people. Dutch flags were out everywhere for the first time in five years. People were out in the streets, the sun was shining, there was peace at last. But it did not last very long. Within two years, the Dutch army was involved in a war in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), and soon, there were wars in the Middle East, in India, and in Korea. Peace on earth seems very elusive, and we have come to the realization that peace is not a period between two wars but rather a feeling within ourselves, a feeling in our hearts.
The disciples were in quite a state when they were gathered in the upper room. Their friend had been crucified, and the authorities were after them. They sat and wondered what to do next. Some of them were ready to go back home. And suddenly, Jesus was with them, and they heard those wonderful words, "Peace be with you."
And we, too -- sometimes we doubt and worry, we lie in bed at night and worry. We pray about it, or we go to church to worship, or we pick up the Bible and read those wonderful words, "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28 NKJV) Or we hear Jesus' words, "Peace be with you."
Before one war is over, another one has started. There seems to be no end to it, and we have learned nothing from history; there is no lasting peace. But inner peace is for all of us to have and to hold through faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. We know that the triune God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- is our source of lasting peace, and then, it does not matter what might happen in our lives, for we can be at peace through faith, and we will have peace in our hearts.
Dear Lord, we pray for those who are in political power. We pray that they will seek Your will in all the decisions they make. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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