An Easter Word of Peace
Suddenly, the world changed. Things that had been taken for granted and integral to everyday life… expectations of better things to come … the person they loved most… all of these had been torn away overnight; the shock was overwhelming. Maybe our experience of springtime 2020? Or that of the little band of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem, AD 33? There are striking similarities, but obvious differences too.
Even though Jesus had tried to warn his disciples about what he was going to suffer, and that this road would not be easy, they only understood it in retrospect. On the night that Jesus was taken from them, he said many encouraging things, including “Peace I leave with you, MY peace I give unto you” – that peace which enabled him to suffer voluntarily, on behalf of us all, the most agonising torture and death and yet pray for his executioners.
Jesus has gone on giving his followers his peace ever since and – in the midst of suffering, anxiety, isolation and bewilderment – when we look to Jesus, he draws near to us and offers us his deep-down peace.
After the series of shocks and numbing grief, reality begins to dawn. Like those first followers, we wait, not knowing what the future will bring. We need each other for solace, and yet each is wrapped in their own isolation, and fear begins to take hold.
Suddenly, a light shines in the darkness of our groping questions, and the world has transformed! Jesus stands among us and says “Peace be to you.” This is not a simple greeting of peace, but the very fulness of peace, embodied in Christ himself. Having experienced death and conquered it, he made a way for us to be at peace with God, enabling us to have his amazing peace within and with each other and banishing fear, “for He IS our Peace.”
Without the resurrection by God of His Son Jesus Christ, we would know nothing about him, and would not be able to share with others that “peace which the world cannot give.” So as ‘Easter People,’ let us show lovingly to others, by word and action, the joyful knowledge that Jesus is alive. What’s more, he stands beside us, offering his love and peace to everyone, whatever we may face this year.
Elfrida Calvocoressi, Chair of Trustees