April 20, 2020
Pastor Jerry Kulp
29 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.”
Greetings my friends!
As I was preparing this week’s message for worship, there were many varied and different thoughts that “ran” through my head. Yet as I sit here preparing this reflection the thought that keeps coming to mind is “how” God continually comes among us.
Yes, Jesus came behind locked doors to the disciples and Jesus continues to come behind the doors to our houses… “and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. (John 20:19b-21)”
Wait a minute! Hold the train! Did Jesus just share “peace” or more appropriately “shalom?” with disciples of all times and all places? “Shalom” while translated as “peace” carries a much deeper meaning of completeness, wholeness, being in harmony with creation, tranquility, fullness, even the absence of all agitation. Not just that, but immediately after sharing “shalom” with disciples, Christ immediately commissions believers, sending us out to share a word of “shalom.”
Wow! That’s a powerful message! Yet… this is exactly what I believe you and I have borne witness to during this pandemic! Think for a moment of the incredible acts of kindness and generosity that we have seen from people during this time.
Within our view are young people among us who have been designing and creating greeting cards to share with older members of our community of faith. Our young people have been creating works of art on sidewalks, in parks, on posters to share a message of hope and peace with any who see them. Within our view, people are taking their friends to necessary medical appointments to receive the care that is needed to return to a healthy life. Within our view people are sharing financial resources and are getting groceries for people around them who are in need. Within our view people are creating “facemasks” with a proficiency that 2 months ago they didn’t posses to share this needed item with family, friends, and people they’ve never met.
Yes, my friends. We are seeing with our own eyes what Christ promised! Peace has come among us and we have been sent by God to share this message of peace with the world!