SERMON TITLE: “Peace Be with You”
SERMON TEXT: John 20:19-31
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION April 28, 2019, at First UMC
Because my husband’s ancestry goes back to Wales, he’s always had an interest in Celtic language, culture, and religion. Consequently, many years ago, Steve bought a devotional book called Celtic Night Prayer. For a while, Steve would read us a section from that book every night before we went to sleep. While the devotional meditations and scripture readings covered a variety of topics, the suggested prayers all ended with the same final request: “The peace of all peace be mine this night.” The recurring prayer was that God’s guidance by day and God’s protection by night would ease our fears so that we might sleep soundly in God’s peace.
Of course, we all know that Jesus wasn’t Celtic, but maybe he had a similar idea on his mind when he appeared to his disciples that first Easter evening and said, “Peace be with you.” So much had happened that day. Mary Magdalene had gone to the tomb and found it empty. After she told them, Peter and the other disciple went there themselves and verified that Jesus’ body was gone. Then Mary reported that she had seen Jesus alive, and that he had called her by name. Now, much later on that same Easter day, the disciples were huddled in a room, talking this over, wondering what it all meant. Their emotions were in such a jumble that they probably wouldn’t have been able to sleep that night. But, just then, Jesus appeared, saying, “Peace be with you.”
Because we all long for peace of mind and soul, and we all need a good night’s sleep, I’d like for us to take a look at John, chapter 20, and see what it means to have God’s peace.