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St Johns Southgate

06 Apr 2017

May the peace be with you

It’s not the fall that’ll kill you, it’s the sudden stop.

That may be true, but waiting for something to happen, particularly if it has the potential to be bad, can be excruciating. Perhaps you’ve had to wait for test results from your doctor. It’s a horrible feeling.

The passion and Easter stories of the Bible describe some incredibly intense periods of waiting. As Jesus waited at Gethsemane to be arrested he prayed in terrible anguish. It’s said that as he prayed his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Jesus’s disciples also had to experience their fair share of nervous waiting. In the days after Jesus’s crucifixion, they were huddled away behind locked doors, fearful that they might be the next to be arrested and executed. All they could do was wait and see what their fate might be.

But after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples behind those locked doors. He made himself known in a space where the air was thick with tension and fear.

Jesus, knowing all too well what it was like to wait around for something awful to happen, greeted his disciples in a way that described exactly what they needed. He said: “Peace be with you.”

Feeling peace in the middle of turmoil isn’t particularly achievable on our own. But when someone who has been through tough times steps in to assure you that everything’s going to be okay, it can be most helpful.

But the unique thing about the peace that Jesus announced to his disciples is that it wasn’t something achieved through deep breathing, visualisation or the right concoction of dietary supplements. Jesus had come through death to life.

He had conquered his (and the world’s) demons. He had done something so unthinkable, so unspeakable that it wasn’t just a victory for him, but for everyone!

Easter is often thought of as some kind of a chocolate festival, which isn’t all bad. Chocolate is festive, it’s delicious, and having an Easter egg marks a happy moment. But it can’t hurt to remember why we celebrate at Easter.

It’s because, out of pain and suffering, from the very heart of life’s turbulence, comes peace, hope and the possibility of new beginnings when all hope may have seemed lost.

If you’re waiting for something to happen, some news to come through that might not be all that good, may you know peace.

May you know the divine presence of one who has been through it all being there with you, and for you, so that you might know true peace.

Easter peace!

Tom Hoffmann - Pastor

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