Amidst all the conversations and arguments about faith, there remains this simple thing we are asked to do - believe.
But believing is not always a simple thing.
Be still for a bit, consider what you believe. And who you believe.next >
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 20:19-23next >
Oftentimes when I know I need to make a difficult decision, I feel paralyzed. As I weigh all of the options of "maybe this" or "maybe that," I fear not making the right choice. I find myself even more worked up than when I started. I can't seem to do anything - even as much as I would like to do something!
I can imagine similar feelings being held by the disciples as they sat in the upper room. With their beloved teacher dead, they didn't know what to do. Overwhelmed by fear, they waited.
But when Jesus appeared among them, the first words out of his mouth were "Peace be with you!" Jesus gave his disciples the gift that their weary hearts need most: peace. "Don't worry, friends," Jesus was saying, "I've got this." What encouragement this is to us, as we follow Jesus this day. We too are given exactly what we need with all the decisions that await us. We are also promised peace!
Elizabeth Evans Hagannext >
Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of your peace. Remind me that when I feel stuck and lost in making decisions this day, you have not left me alone. Through the Holy Spirit, you also have given me the gift of your peace. Amen.next >
The saying is sure. I desire that you insist on these things, so that those who have come
To believe in God
May be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone.
Elizabeth Evans Hagan
Elizabeth Evans Hagan is pastor of Washington Plaza Baptist Church in Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. She blogs regularly about the art of pastoring and the adventure of faith at Preacher on the Plaza Though she's never learned to ride a bike (this might be her year!), she enjoys spending time outdoors and on weekend adventures with her husband, Kevin.
Be Thou My Vision