April 19, 2020
Huddled Behind Closed Doors
As I read today’s gospel message, it was abundantly clear to me that today masses of people are huddled behind closed doors due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Some are in a self-imposed lockdown. Some are in a lockdown imposed by a governing authority and some are in a hospital lockdown fighting against a physical attack from this virus.
In the reading, the Apostles are in a self-imposed lockdown fearing their lives were in peril from the same Jews that crucified the Christ.
The resurrected Jesus entered among them as they huddled there in fear. Hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ that He spoke to them in verse 19, “Peace be with you.”
Let us just pause right here and right now. Close your eyes. Put everything completely out of your mind. Now hear those same words from our Lord, Jesus the Christ. “Peace be with you.” In these troubled times the message remains very clear. Jesus is our HOPE.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
When Jesus appeared to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t there with them. When Thomas did join them, they were anxious to share the news that Jesus had come and blessed them. But Thomas would have none of it. He told the others, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Verse 25
Eight days later, Jesus again joined them behind the closed and locked doors. He again greeted them all with “Peace to you.” He then immediately addressed Thomas saying, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands, and reach your hand here and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving but believing.” Verse 26
Of course, Thomas was convinced and acknowledged Jesus as Lord and God.
And then, Jesus delivered the most important aspect of this message: Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Verse 29
Folks, it is our faith that God honors. We cannot fake it we must live it out. If there was ever a time to TRUST God, it is right now amid this crisis.
We WILL survive this. YES, there will be many sacrifices and much suffering BUT we WILL survive. Where does that WILL come from? Let me tell you – it is GOD’s WILL for all of us. Our faith is being tested. We must indeed step up and share our faith and encourage others. We do that in many ways. It is so important that we maintain constant communication with our relatives, friends and neighbors. When I say constant, I mean DAILY, with words of encouragement and an offer to DO anything within our power and God’s grace to help others through this crisis.
Jesus says in verse 21: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Beloved, He is sending us all, titles, degrees, vestments and trappings are not required to honor the teachings and callings of Christ. Are you asking, JUST WHAT IS REQUIRED? I am pleased to tell you. FAITH and obedience are all that is required.
Our peace and happiness come via faith, obedience and tolerance and service to others - ALL OTHERS!!
Let us now go forth loving and serving God by loving and serving each other – EVERY each other.
I humbly and sincerely ask for your prayers!
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