Ripples of Peace

When Jesus first appears to his disciples after the resurrection in the gospel of John, he says, “Peace be with you.” I’ve been thinking a lot about that greeting that Jesus shared with his disciples and that we use as a way to call ourselves together at the beginning of worship. I’ve been wondering about how truly revolutionary that greeting is.

When Jesus greets his disciples, he is inviting them to live at peace within themselves. To be sure, the disciples who were gathered together after Jesus had been crucified needed some peace. They were worried about their own safety. They were worried about their future because their leader, the one whom they had been following had just been tried, arrested, and killed. They were fearful. They were certainly not peaceful.

And then Jesus appears and offers them peace. The same peace he offered to the winds and waves that were raging around them on the Sea of Galilee and the same peace he offers to each of us no matter the fears and worries we have…no matter the storms that are raging around us.

I wonder if when we are not at peace with other people in our lives, if it’s because we are holding onto control. We are trying so desperately to hold our lives and ourselves together that we are tense and worried all the time. What if not being at peace is actually not about how stressful our lives are or how much we are trying to manage, but rather an indication that there is something off within ourselves? Maybe when we find ourselves complaining about other people, it actually tells us more about much we need to find peace within ourselves.

Jesus offers peace to his disciples at the time they are most worried and afraid. When we practice that same peace, that resurrection peace, it sends ripples of peace out in the world. To be sure, our world could use some peace right now.