Scripture selection: Luke 24:36

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

When the report was given about how Jesus appeared to some of the disciples, he appeared again.

What did he say?

Did he rebuke them for lack of faith?

Did he warn them that crosses of sacrifice were waiting for them too?

Did he tell them to lock their doors and stay away from public places?

Did he tell them to get out of town?

No – he offered them his peace.

“Peace be with you.”

They were understandably startled.  The scripture goes so far as to say they were frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

In response, Jesus simply reassured them again.

He told them to look at his hands and feet and prove to themselves that he wasn’t a ghost.

I can imagine that in his approach to them, a look, a touch, he reassured them again.

What an amazing moment that must have been.

Yet Jesus still does that.  Perhaps not in such a dramatic way – suddenly appearing out of nowhere, behind closed doors – but He comes to us nevertheless.

He offers us what he always offers – His peace.

Will we trust it?  Will we accept it?  Will it enable us to be the persons He calls us to be?

Or will we stay behind closed doors – still afraid?

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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