That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” – John 20:19-23
In times of sorrow, heart ache, and suffering, the word “Peace” is a declaration of war. It is a declaration of war against the spirits of destruction and discouragement, against the hopelessness in the air that would drag us into the gutter, against the voice that whispers in our ears, “There is no future. There is nothing but this loss.”
Peace, or “wholeness” is a choice. It is the choice we must make in the face of chaos. Peace is the announcement that, though everything around us falls apart, we will seek the best for our neighbors. Peace says, “We will not see this moment as our defining moment. Rather, we will restore broken things, we will quench fires of anger, and we will declare that there another moment is yet to come.”
Peace is the spirit of resurrection. Peace brings new life into death.
As the sun rises over Baltimore, we must answer the chaos with forgiveness. Because if we do not forgive, then who will bring forgiveness.
As the sun rises over Baltimore, we must answer the disaster around us with hope. Let the scars in the hands and the side of our city now be signs, not of our death, but of our resurrection.
As the sun rises over Baltimore, we must answer the violence with Peace. As you travel today, let it be said of you that, “Peace is with you.”