I can’t help but wonder how the disciples arrived for the meeting in that room. I imagine them hurrying through the streets looking over their shoulders, faces down and suspicious of people passing by them. Perhaps they jumped at small noises or dark shadows. I imagine the first few warmly greeting each new person who knocked on the closed door and was admitted. They no doubt found strength from being together with their mixed feelings and uncertain understanding of the future.
But did they feel secure? I suspect not. They had closed the door and probably slid the bolts too, but no doubt they listened to every sound as they met together; they were anxious and afraid. Many of us have faced moments like this; we have clung to a few trusted friends because our world seems to have turned hostile and even life-threatening. It may be when the medical tests show a potentially terminal illness, when a loved one suddenly abandons us or when a financial catastrophe overtakes us. I suspect many people in Christchurch, New Zealand have felt this way as they have huddled together in shelters after the recent destructive earthquake.
But the solution to the anxiety and fear of the disciples is about to be revealed. Their situation will not change but they will be changed. The doors were locked but it didn’t stop Jesus from unexpectedly standing with them and bringing amazing comfort to them. Walls and locked doors could not stop Him. He didn’t try to explain how their situation would be resolved. He didn’t miraculously change all the circumstances around them; He just came right into their fear-filled space and spoke to them.
In life-shaking situations we can easily feel the safest thing is to cling to others and lock ourselves in; distancing ourselves from what we see as the terrifying problem. We try to make ourselves feel safer but are painfully aware that at any minute the problem could overwhelm us. We should remember that even if we have locked the door Jesus can still come right into our self imposed prison of fear. He wants to, because he sees our need. He will presence Himself with us and speak His peace into us not to change the circumstances but to change our hearts. That’s what we all need to hear in these crisis moments “Peace be with you”
Prayer: Lord Jesus thank You that You see our life circumstances and You know when, because of fear, we have shut the door and locked ourselves in. Thank you that You can come right into our hiding place and bring Your words of peace. Praise You for your loving presence which can bring peace to our heart in the midst of the circumstances. Amen.
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