On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
– John 20:21, 26
April 4, 2020: Today, one day before Palm Sunday, I’m “sheltering in place” with Rebecca and Ginger Snap the amazing ten-pound wonder dog. Why am I quoting an Easter passage before Palm Sunday? Because we need it NOW!
I’ve been focused on the Gospel According to St. John. The disciples were behind locked doors for fear of the Jewish leaders. We are behind closed doors for fear of the COVID-19 virus. Locked doors could not stop Jesus then, and they can’t stop Him today.
He comes to us every day when we read and meditate on His Word. He’s always with us via the Holy Spirit, but I think we are most aware of His presence when we actively worship Him. He is physically present through His body and blood in Holy Communion.
We can’t all come together physically for a while, but we absolutely can and must join with each other now in prayer, praise and the reading of His Word, thereby strengthening our faith and faithfulness in praying for others, and supporting the ministry of King of Kings.
There is a whole world of people out who still don’t believe in our Savior. God has called us to pray for them, support missions, and witness in our own homes. He has blessed us to be a blessing to others.
You may have noticed the picture above. Seven years ago, on the morning of Good Friday, I was walking my dog, and came upon this plant by the side of the road. I was deeply touched. I noticed the overall shape of a cross. If you look closely at the center of the cross, you might be reminded of the crown of thorns on our Savior’ head. You might also remember that He bore the unbearable weight of the entire world, including yours and mine.
But take heart! The green could represent new life – His resurrection, of course, but also our own. Titus 3:5-8 tells us “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.”
As we continue to “shelter in place”, let us focus on the ETERNAL SHELTER we have in Jesus Christ and His all-encompassing love for us.
Feel free to share this online. Who knows – it might go “viral?”