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Week of: April 23, 2017
Scripture: John 20:19-31
"Peace be with you." … Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you."
(John 20:19, 21, NRSV)
Greetings were a high priority to Jesus, and I imagine he carefully considered the greeting he offered the disciples after his resurrection. When I prepare to visit someone I haven’t seen in a long time or who is not expecting me, I often find myself practicing and carefully selecting something to say that has the most impact: "Wow, I haven’t seen you in years. You look great!" or "What a wonderful surprise!"
Jesus chose the greeting that would give his disciples assurance when he offered them peace—not once, but twice! If Jesus greeted me that same way, I imagine I would reflexively say, "and also with you." But, I admit, I might just stand in shock had I just seen him put to death before my eyes.
When Jesus offers us that same assurance — "Peace be with you" — it is because death does not have the last word and the resurrection is still at work today. When you sing, when you dance, when you play, or when you create, how do you express peace to others? Does your creative role offer peace? How do you embody peace?
Holy One, you have the power to bring about peace from conflict, courage from fear, and life from death. Remind us that death does not have the last word, and life rises from the depths when all hope seems lost. Amen.