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I've slowly been reading through Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. In the beginning of the book, he goes in-depth looking at the reasons why it is intellectually reasonable to believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historically true event. Pondering the resurrection's reality has caused me to ask the question, "Since this is true, what does it mean for today?" Because, I'll admit that being a "seasoned" Christian, it is easy for me to lose the awe of it and to forget its lasting effect on my day to day life. But the current needs of my heart have opened wide the door for me to want to grow in my understanding of how this reality of Jesus effects my today.
The other day, I was listening to a sermon titled, Chosen One, that was talking about Jesus visiting the disciples after His resurrection. As I was listening, I was struck by the similarities between Genesis 3 and how Jesus found the disciples after the resurrection. In both scenarios, the main characters are hiding - hiding out of fear. In both situations, it is God Himself who comes and seeks them out. But instead of a separation taking place as it did in Genesis we see that after the resurrection when Jesus comes in He proclaims, "Peace to you."
The disciples were hiding in fear and God's immediate response is, "Peace." How many times do we do the very same thing? When we are afraid, ashamed we want to go and hide. Hide in fear, hide in separation, hide thinking that it will somehow make us safe or that our hiding will protect us from an "assumedly" disappointed God. But what if we would stop to listen, stop to hear what Jesus and our Father actually have to say to us, "Peace, peace, peace, peace." I find it completely fascinating that this is indeed the message first proclaimed to us by the angels, "Peace among men in whom He is well pleased." This is the message that Christ lived out and continued to proclaim after His resurrection, "That there is peace between God and man." When we allow Jesus to walk through the doors of our hearts, into our places of fear He proclaims peace. It wasn't just a message for 2,000 years ago, it is a message for today, for our hearts now.
As I was meditating on these thoughts above, I ran across a song that has since become an anthem for me in this thought process. It is called, "Peace is Broken Out" by Ceili Rain.
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I loved how they intertwined the peace proclaimed by the angels with the larger picture of how that message still rings out into our wide-world problems and into our everyday realities. It shows how we can integrate that truth into the fabric of our lives and how we can share it with our neighbors.
So, beloved, let us remember that peace has broken out. May you allow Jesus to come through the door of your heart and speak to your fears. And from that place, may you in turn be invigorated to share the beautiful reality of that peace with your neighbors.