“PEACE BE WITH YOU”
Jesus’ words to his disciples after his resurrection were – shalom- peace be with you!
Take some time to read the poem below and see if anything speaks particularly to you and stay and meditate on it.
The poem is taken from the book “Holy Week Voices from the Holy Land”
Doors bolted shut,
Last Supper dishes still not washed up,
wine -drunk flies buzzing to get out
ten men frightened men frightened and numb,
humbled by fear, failure and doubt
bewildered by the women’s empty tomb reports
vigilant to the threat prowling outside
of their own arrest, torture and death
waiting for the coast to clear,
waiting to be somewhere, anywhere but here…
Then it happens.
From nowhere, without a bolt, loosened
a handle turned or roofing removed
standing before them
radiant, risen, real?
Ecstasy and agony. Shock and awe.
Fresh fragrant air
flooding the fetid fractious lair
before any can speak
he raises his hand in blessing and prayer,
and softly says the word they need to hear.
And again “Shalom”
the gift they most urgently desire
peace from guilt and shame
peace from never knowing hope again
once more his “Shalom” drenches
and softens their broken, beaten hearts.
Moving closer, mercy -eyed
He shows them his hands and his side
Healing miracle -making hands
now punctured and tortured by hammered iron nails
and his side gashed and gouged
but now somehow glorious, victorious….
In the wounds of death they see new life
the defeated Jesus becomes the Risen Christ
who now holds them with his eyes and says
“As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.
No more locked doors, no more hiding in fear
your mission is to the world spreading out from here
but in my Spirit’s way
to bring to all the mercy
I have shown to you this Resurrection day.
Break through the doors of sin and shame
and forgive others in my name.”
With this he breathes on them
igniting the Spirit’s fire
sparking to life in each disciple an apostle’s desire.
Filled now with the Lord’s peace, purpose and power
the ten men run towards the bolted door
and with one pull thrust into the street
no longer afraid, no longer in retreat
but bold and hungry for souls
themselves risen from the dead, a radical rebirth
sent out, empowered
to renew the face of the earth.
SCRIPTURE READING JOHN 20:19-23
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.”
Keep a time of silence as you reflect on what you have read.
SUGGESTED QUESTION FOR REFLECTION
Can you think of any “Upper Room Experiences”, which you have had in your own life?
In what way does this image speak to you?