In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
I grew up in my Mom and Dad’s motel. Named the Sands Motel in Cape Girardeau, MO, it is now out of the family and somewhat past its former glory. But in the day, it was a really cool place to live – replete with a 42 foot swimming pool! There was also the soda machine to which my sister and I found the key and would occasionally “sneak a soda” without our parents’ permission. We had regular customers, Mr. Daily, for example who always wanted room #4 (yes, not 104, but just plain “4”), and others who had their own particular ways and preferences. We kept those in mind whenever one would drive up.
The living quarters was just off of the small office/sign-in area, and a switchboard much like the one shown above was there along with the card rack, registration cards, and other old school accoutrements of the motel business in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. We all used the main front door into the office to access our living area. So we had a rule: when you came in from outside you would call out “Me!” That was to prevent someone from having to jump up from reading their book, watching TV, eating a meal or whatever else was going on. They didn’t have to get up and greet a family member or employee.
The disciples weren’t running a motel, but they were hiding in fear from the religious leaders. Doors locked. Hunkered down. It certainly was nice to hear Jesus’ greeting: not “Me!”, but “Peace be with you.” This isn’t about not having to jump up and take care of a customer. It’s just not about a family member coming in the door. This is about Jesus offering a greeting far a better than any they could ever imagine: “Peace be with you.”
I’m not certain just what turmoil, storm, challenge, or gloomy storms you or I will face today. But this greeting is meant not only for the disciples. It is meant for you and me. Jesus’ words speak not only to that specific moment in their lives, but though the centuries into our hearts and lives.
- A sudden and unexpected death: “Peace be with you!”
- A challenging situation at work: “Peace be with you!”
- A tumultuous personal relationship: “Peace be with you!”
- A rocky financial road: “Peace be with you!”
- A personal failure: “Peace be with you!”
- A fear-filled future: “Peace be with you!”
- A dreadful diagnosis: “Peace be with you!”
That is a better greeting than any “Me!” It is the greeting from the Lord of Life and the Prince of Peace