Pause

What does it take to trust? Sometimes it’s experience over time; sometimes it’s a deeply moving event that takes place in a single moment.

To believe in God and in Christ revealed through Jesus, it sometimes takes an act of the will and a commitment to remain true to your faith.

Through it all God remains constant – at your side and within your heart. Trust that to be true in these next few quiet moments.

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Listen

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, 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.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

John 20:19–23

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Think

After the first day of work following an emotionally charged weekend, the disciples gather quickly together. Scurrying up the stairs, they lock all the doors tightly behind them. The authorities are not happy with these Jesus-followers, and it's hard to know who to trust. This is no time for carelessness. They talk about the resurrection of their Lord. This is good news for sure, but fear continues to pervade their minds. What will the future hold? Is it safe to share this news? What happens now?

In the midst of the uncertainly, in the middle of a band of frightened followers locked in a little room in a little house, Jesus shows up.

He always does.

"Peace be with you," he says. It is a gift that he offers, one worshippers around the world shared with each other yesterday as they passed on this gift. Then and now, Christ busts through our bolted hearts of fear and offers us peace.

Enjoy that peace today.

John Woods

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Pray

Finding God, who moved heaven and earth to come to us, help peace to pervade my heart, so that I might offer that peace to others. Amen.

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Go

Be true now in what you hold to be trustworthy;
Be honest now also when you are unsure.

In any and every case, Jesus remains
Close and steadfast with an enduring love,
A love that always shows up.

John Woods

John Woods serves as minister of worship at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he provides input to the areas of music, the arts, worship, and liturgy.

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