On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Imagine the disciples right after this happens! What now???? Should we leave Jerusalem? Should we stay? What exactly does Jesus want us to do? It is understandable that with the stress of the last few days, they were confused and depleted.
How do we react after big events in our personal lives? Sometimes, these things are unplanned and frightening: getting a difficult diagnosis or losing a job. Sometimes, these things are in the planning stages for a while: deciding to retire or move from the family home.
The ways in which we react to these situations and events tell us a lot about our faith. Are we frozen in place by fear or do we trust that God will see us through? Do we rifle off a quick plea “God help me” or do we spend time in prayer listening as well as pleading? What now, God? Listening for God is a difficult thing to do. I find that more often I feel God rather than hear him. I feel a nudge to do something, like God’s hand on my back, gently pushing me along. It’s comforting, it’s scary and it provides the answer to “What now?” Like the disciples, we need to trust that God is the answer.
Prayer: Faithful God, thank you for nudging us along. Help us trust the peace Christ offers, no matter what life sends our way. Amen.