Sent With Peace – 4-2-24

You can listen to this reflection here. Sunday’s gospel reading is here

When Jesus showed up in a locked room with his disciples on Easter evening, he gave them more than a good fright. He gave them his peace, and he gave them a mission. And then he gave them the only resource they would need on that mission, his Holy Spirit: When it was evening on that day… Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 

That peace of Christ has been passed along, person to person, generation to generation, all the way from that room on Easter night to us. It is peace that “defies understanding,” that comes to us in the most unpeaceful circumstances. It is peace that can help us move through the hardest of times, so that others remark on our serenity. It is that peace we share in our Eucharistic worship.

That peace of Christ comes with a mission. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you,” Jesus said. Jesus’ statement may be general, but the actual sending is always to a specific place and people. Where are we sent? Wherever we feel the Spirit of God beckoning, enlivening us, getting our attention; wherever we sense the Spirit of Christ already at work. We don’t have to start things. We just come along and participate in what God is already doing. What freedom and joy that can be.

When we think of “mission” as something we are supposed to discern, prepare, and go out and “do,” it can feel daunting. I think that’s why many Christians think it’s a big hurdle and stay in their pews. We think we’re supposed to be on top of it, ready, equipped, holy, have all the answers. Wrong!  We only need to be willing to let the Holy Spirit work through us. The minute Jesus told his followers they were sent on a mission like his, “…he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” 

It’s not a light thing to receive the Holy Spirit, but neither need it be heavy. The Spirit is the fuel that powers us when we’re about the mission of God to reclaim, restore and renew all of creation to wholeness.

Where do you feel sent? To whom? Do you have a nagging desire to address some need or injustice? Are you excited about certain kinds of ministry? That’s how you’ll know the who and the when and the what and the where of it. And do you feel you are carrying the Peace of Christ? Have you claimed the gift of Holy Spirit passed along to you?

I’m glad we have found ways of sharing Christ’s peace in worship other than breathing upon each other; that could get a little gross. However it comes to us, though, we can be sure we have received the Spirit with Christ’s peace.

© Kate Heichler, 2024. To receive Water Daily by email each morning, subscribe hereHere are the bible readings for next Sunday. Water Daily is also a podcast – subscribe to it here on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast platform.

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