Where’s the Creek ? (“there is Life After Easter” part 2 edition)
27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Jesus said it. I read it…we gathered at the graveside of a saint of the community. The Women of the Church (old PCUS) feared the loss of her talents. The Presbytery Congregational Life Committee grew anxious about the various projects for which she had taken leadership responsibility. Her fellow church members felt the loss of her presence deeply. She had always been there through the congregation’s 25 years. They took pride in the fact that she had been elected the first woman to serve on the Session. She had become a symbol of the congregation’s forward looking vision. What now? What would happen next? As the group, now become crowd, drew close to her family; in that moment of quiet respectful hush; as the sun filtered through the blooming dogwoods just above; as thoughts wondered and wandered; as hearts balanced between hurt and hope; the brief service began. “Peace be with you!”
In this time after Easter and before Pentecost the disciples lost their footing. They gathered restlessly. Thoughts wondered and wandered. Hearts balanced between hurt and hope. In due season, in God’s time, they remember Jesus. They see the Lord! They experience His presence. He speaks the words. “Peace be with you!”
Some years Gospel John’s “Pentecost” speaks to me more powerfully than Luke-Acts. Jesus leans in closely to his anxious, fearful, grieving disciples and speaks as a mother comforting her child saying: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. ”
So in this time between, in this “meantime”, we listen and hear His voice!
25”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. John 14 (selected verses)
From Celtic Women to the Notre Dame Folk Choir, to the edge of faith in the depths of my heart, in all our days between Easter and Pentecost… “How Can I Keep From Singing”? Because we have the peace of Christ!