Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Gift of the Holy Spirit given for common well-being
St. John 20:19-23
V. 21 “Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Jesus identifies Himself with His Father. This communicated to the disciples of whose authority He did His work. That work is now passed down to the disciples, the work to spread the Gospel. Christ had modeled the ministry of love and forgiveness for the disciples to follow and to live out. That model ministry is a reminder for us that we are also called in the same way, as we are children of God to continue the work of the Gospel, living out and spreading the Good News for all to learn and accept. Christ had demonstrated through words and actions so that likewise our words and actions can be Christ-like.
The Gospel message is the message of love and peace. In our Holy Qurbana, before and after reading the Gospel portion, the celebrant says, “peace be with you all”, the same words of Christ given in this passage to the disciples. Christ did not mention it once here but twice, as in v. 21 we see “again Jesus said”. Christ appearing to the disciples overjoyed them (v.20). Our Holy Qurbana experience enables us to know that we are to be overjoyed in all that God has done for us. In the last rushma (blessing) of our liturgy, we see the words in the beginning “go now in peace and serve the Lord with the gifts and blessings that you have received from the atoning sacrifice of the Lord”, and also at the end “go in peace, filled with gladness and rejoicing”. It reminds us that the peace that comes from God, is the peace that can comfort and console us and strengthen us with joy so that joyfully we can persevere to do God’s work.
God has sent the Holy Spirit to guide, counsel, and strengthen us to move forward. This world will shake us and give us the fear to move back and run from life’s situations. That is why we should abide in God and the Holy Spirit will guide us to overcome life’s obstacles because God reminds us that we are never alone, even if we feel that we are. He is always with us, if we trust Him, we are reminded of the peace amidst the storms of life so that our existence is not defined selfishly in our ways, but we can wholly surrender to God’s ways.
Everlasting Triune God, thank You for reminding me that I am not alone, help me to remember that You are by my side so that I can move forward and live for You, not reflecting on the hurdles of life, but rather on Your peace. Amen.Thought for the day
“It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge and my job to love.” - Billy Graham
Rev. Jess M. George
Youth Chaplain, North-East Region
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church