As people of God, we are called to go out to all the world and tell the Good News that the kindness of the Lord endures forever. On a more concrete level, we are called to proclaim hope instead of despair, confidence instead of fear, and faith instead of unbelief. But how do we convince ourselves and our weary travelers in this life that we have nothing to fear? Some of us even grow anxious and fearful when we read the Bible. We identify with Thomas. We are Thomas. We want more assurance that the Lord is with us. We want Jesus to stand right in front of us and say “Peace be with you.” The Good News is that he does just that in the community of believers.
Every Sunday morning the pastor or priest says, “The Lord be
with you,” and we respond confidently, “and with you too” several times during
the worship service. And at some point, we all turn and greet each
other with “The Peace of Christ.” This is the same thing as having
Jesus speak directly to us. As members of the household of God, we
are held together in a sacred structure in the Lord. The Spirit of
Christ dwells with us. But I think it takes one more act of faith to
see the Lord. The peace of the Lord seems most real to me when I see
the mark of suffering in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is when we place our hands on their wounds that Jesus becomes more visible
in our midst.
We are called, I think, to not struggle with our fears and unbelief
alone, although our journey is a deeply personal one, but to identify with
the fears and unbelief of others. To those very real fears and despair,
we must witness God’s steadfast kindness. I can feel the peace of the
Lord more fully when I reflect that I am not a stranger or sojourner, but
a fellow citizen with the holy ones in the house of God. I experience
so much kindness from others in this house and hope to grow in the faith
that enables me to share that kindness with others. Writing and reading
daily reflections is an opportunity for people of faith throughout the world
to share the Good News and the Peace of Christ. I believe that as I
write, “The Peace of Christ be with you,” to anyone whose heart is weary
with fear and despair today, that Christ’s Peace is with me too.
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