“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 )
I had in mind what I wanted to write about this day, but unfortunately the inspiration came to me when I was not close to my computer. And now, as I face a mostly blank screen and an annoying flashing cursor, I can not remember what the inspiration was. So I read and re-read the verse and tried to remember what I was doing when inspiration hit hoping that I could re-create the moment of inspiration. But, that did not work either.
I dislike repeating and re-treading old themes and ideas. I want to write something fresh and new. Themes of peace, the ways of the world, not being troubled or afraid are all themes that have been used and talked about in relationship to this verse. In that they are standard and well-known themes, they are much like the ways of the world; old, tired, and worn. Christ’s ways are new, fresh, and enlivening. But do not be caught in the trap that even I might try to lay! Talking about the ways of the world in contrast to the ways of Christ is also a theme that has been much discussed. There comes a point when everything that could be said, has been said. And by people with far greater acclaim then myself.
Back two thousand plus years the days following Christ’s resurrection were days when Christ’s followers had no idea what would happen next. Each day was unexplored terrain as they struggled to live without their Master and Teacher. For a long time they had followed Jesus from village to village learning new things and seeing new wonders. Jesus taught as no one else had taught, and performed miracles that no one else had ever done.
Many had died under Roman rule and discipline, but never before like Jesus. Secret trials and backroom politics may have been standard fair, but the apparent collusion of Jewish and civil authorities give the days of Passover a different look. And then, when rumors started that Jesus was alive still/again! Well!!
But we know these stories. We grew up with these stories, or they were presented to us at the time we came to conversion. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John may have different voices and different emphasis, but the story of Christ is presented four times. Paul wrote letters to many churches and individuals, but at the heart of his message was the same theme. What is there new?!
Easter is a time of new beginning. But gentle reader, all I have for you is “old” news. Christ is risen. The Holy Spirit is with us. And you already knew that. May the Lord who did a new thing two thousand or more years ago bring newness to your life like no other can. Selah!