Peace Be With you
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
April 16, 2021, Words By: Lina Thompson, Image By: unknown
Here we are, almost two weeks past Easter Sunday, and yet I’ve still been thinking about Palm Sunday.
Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the passage in Luke where Jesus wept while entering the city saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But they are hidden from your eyes … you didn’t recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
Now that we’re on the other side of Easter, we can understand this verse a little better.
But if I’m honest, I am still wondering – what are the actual, tangible things that make for peace? This seems like the million dollar question for the Church to ponder … especially as ones who are proclaiming this peace.
Unfortunately, a look at our news feeds tells us that as a people, we are familiar with the things that make for violence: more guns on our streets, unjust systems rooted in white supremacy, and economic systems that keep people in poverty, just to name a few.
We’re well versed in violence, but not so much in the things that make peace.
That’s why I find today’s verse so interesting. The first word out of Jesus’ mouth is “PEACE.”
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? (Luke 24:36b – 38)
There had to be so much chaos in that moment. After all, they thought they were seeing a ghost! And I think Jesus would have been justified to give these guys a piece of his mind. They turned on him in his time of need — they failed the most important task of being a follower.
And yet, how does Jesus respond to them? He doesn’t run from them or lash out at them. Instead, he goes right back to his community of friends — to the ones who left him.
Amidst their fear, their grief, and their likely feelings of guilt and shame, Jesus says “PEACE be with you.”
And this is where it gets really interesting for me. He follows up his miraculous appearance, and more miraculous forgiveness, with a not-so-miraculous move, something that seems completely misplaced in this story:
He asks them, “Do you have anything to eat?”
Perfect. It was God. Again. In the flesh. The Resurrected Flesh. The Resurrected Body.
He spoke peace, a word that held divine mercy and forgiveness.
And then he embodied a mundane, everyday experience that we all have by basically saying, “I’m hungry.
“I believe in the resurrection of the body”
This Eastertide season, I am pondering this line more than ever. Believing in the resurrection of the body is more than just a death-to-life thing reserved for us when we pass away. It has implications for how we live today. As a good friend of mine recently stated: “Resurrection is a proclamation that flesh and bone are sacred and holy, now.” Perhaps this proclamation will lead us to a more peaceful world.
God came back in a physical body. This speaks to us, reminding us that all bodies are also sacred; black and brown bodies, female bodies, differently abled bodies, LGBTQ bodies, just to name a few.
I’m glad Jesus spoke his peace to the disciples that day. And I am glad he told them he was hungry. There’s no missing God’s’ humanity in that resurrection account. This gives me great hope for us as I consider the possibility of peace in the world — a peace that begins with God who makes sacred all of humanity by becoming flesh and bone.
God invites us into this way of peace as well — fully living into our own humanity and learning to see and to love the sacred in others.
May God give us eyes to see, courage to act, and faith to believe.
Dwelling Among Us
How has the resurrection brought meaning to the way you relate to others?