Author: Dr. Sam Lamerson
There are two kinds of speeches (in general): those that we can’t wait to be over and those that we could listen to for much longer. Jesus was in that second category and this is the end of His speech to his disciples just before He was to be taken into custody. It could have gone much longer.
When I was a kid, it was common for a certain demographic to throw up “peace signs” with their hands. The theory was that they wanted to end the war in Viet Nam, but most of the people showing the sign didn’t have any idea about this. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time.
John uses the word translated “peace” in this passage five other times in his gospel. In this case Jesus tells His group, who had been with Him night and day for several years, that He is going away. Like most children, they want to know, “Where are you going?”; “When will you be back?” and “Can we go with you?” The amazing thing is that Jesus promises them this peace in spite of the fact that He is leaving the disciples alone.
During a time like this in our lives, our nation’s life, and indeed the world’s life, it is easy to think that we have been forgotten. Yet in this passage Jesus reminds His friends that they should not worry, stress, or be afraid. I know that this has not been a time of peace for many of you. There are bills that are mounting up, children who are begging to go to a friend’s house, and the inevitable boredom of sitting at home.
Many of my friends know that I am an introvert. I’ve often said that all I need are my books. Yet even for me, not seeing my friends and co-workers is starting to get to me. To those of you who are more socially designed, I cannot imagine the pain that this must be causing. Yet Jesus promises us peace in the midst of great trials.
I come to you today offering a word (not a hand signal) of peace. One day the virus will be over. But more than that, one day all viruses will be over. We await the perfect “new heaven and new earth” where there will be no more hospitals, nursing homes, tragic deaths or pandemics.
Won’t you focus on that peace with me today? A peace that truly does “pass all understanding.” A peace that will last. A peace that will, in the words of Samwise (from The Lord of the Rings) “make everything sad become untrue.”
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