Good evening everyone…I am blessed to walk with you in these days and for these few minutes as we break open God’s word to discover new insights and share the Incarnation of God with each other. I know for certain I spent many days and moments this past week leaning back into my reflection of Easter Sunday….Do not be afraid…I am going before you…..
For me, being an almost over the top Extrovert, who thrives on being in relationship with lots of people, this whole “stay at home order” is beginning to take its toll on my psyche. I know for some, it is not a really taxing or trying reality, many work in this kind of situation every day and thrive in it…outside of the constant threat of the virus invading our bodies. Yet for me, and I have noticed for many others, it is a very trying, very taxing endurance.
So when I read the Gospel for the first time this week on last Easter Sunday night I thought to myself…. omg…. this is us! We are locked in our upper room, in fear, not knowing who, when, how, where or what this is all going to look like when we finally open the door and step out once again.
We are doing probably many of the same things the early Church was doing…..we are praying, we are hoping, sometimes we sing to lift our spirits, we listen, we ignore, we struggle, we laugh and we cry… faced with the mystery of a future we don’t know.
The second thought I immediately had was this…..oh how I wish Jesus would walk through that door and stand there and say…Peace….peace be with you…..Oh how I need to hear those words….
And then I read…as God has sent me, so I am sending you….. And I thought of our dismissal…let us go now and know how much a tired and hurting world needs our strength and our joy and our gladness, for there are deeds and words…..which only we can do and say….
And it hit me….that is exactly what the world needs….Peace…Our peace…the peace that was given to us in the commission of Jesus…
This my friends is our time! This is the opportunity for Christianity to shine brighter than it ever has in many many centuries. This is the gift we have in the Christian life. We have an immeasurable gift to give to the world…right here, right now, when it needs it most…..
Into the fear….we can speak peace. Into the mystery…we can model peace. Into the future….we can live peace.
When my coworkers started down the road of fear….i tried to simply say….peace…all is well, all will be well, all is well…we can not change a moment by our fear but we can change the world by what we think and
what we say. We can hold the world bound in our sin or we can set the world and set each other free by our forgiveness….Remember Jesus said….as God has sent me, so I am sending you…..The fire of Easter…it may not have been a part of our communal experience on Easter eve, but make no mistake it is burning bright.
There are many needs, many hopes, much fear, much anger, much frustration….it must not win…we are God’s people…and we have a mission….to spread the peace that we were commissioned to spread.
We need not be shackled by fear…we need not be a prisoner of fear…we can be free, because we are free….to live as the breath of God that God is still breathing…..
Living in the freedom of God does not mean ignoring the painful realities of our lives. We are not sent to be stupid, we are sent to be wise. Matthew’s Gospel says….behold I am send you out like sheep among wolves so be as wise as serpents yet as gentle as doves.
These are days, days that need to know that God is present….that peace will conquer, that love will always win. These are days for the Church to shine….I pray that we let it shine bright!
Peace…as our Creator has sent me, Jesus said, so I am sending you…Peace I leave you!
It just can’t stay with us!