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The Pastor’s Pen                      September 27, 2017

“Peace be with you.”     Jesus

The to-do list had grown long as the hours grew short. The sun plunked down in brilliant hue toward a horizon ready to swallow the day, as I was not. “Wait!”, I wanted to shout, as more things essential piled onto the list than had been completed. The tasks hadn’t been easy, like cleaning a closet or praying with a friend. No, the day sucked energy I didn’t know I had to places I hadn’t thought I needed to go. You know the kind of day I’m talking about….

A brief break for fuel and a snatch of news only added a sour mood. Instead of feeling refreshed, I sunk into lament for the suffering of people who’s now familiar faces struggled in the intimacy of my living room on high definition T.V. It seemed more than I could bear.

And then came Jesus. “My peace I give you, my peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” He reminded me then as he reminds us always that God’s peace transcends human suffering. It doesn’t mean that we hurt less necessarily, but it means that we have hope. We don’t have to be afraid. We are loved and never alone. Help is always on the way.

When Jesus said, “I will not leave you desolate,” I believe he meant it. After he died the disciples were suffering privately behind closed and locked doors. They grieved hard. They were terrified of their own impending arrest as those who followed their recently killed Rabbi. Guilt by association made them vulnerable.

And then came Jesus. “Peace be unto you…”, he said. He repeated his greeting to remind them that he was who he said he was, that God is who God is, and that life, not anxiety, not fear, not suffering, not war or rumors of war, not even death is the end of our story. Whatever you’re up against. Whatever is up against you. “Peace be unto you” this day.

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland