“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).
If you are following the 2019 Year of Scripture Daily Reading Schedule, you should be close to finishing the Gospel of John.
At our Fall Gatherings, I invited us to consider that the crucified and risen Jesus commissions His followers to be a “Sent Church”, and not a “Settled Church”. Think about the difference between being “sent” and being “settled”. Are there places in the life of your parish where the Holy Spirit is stirring things up and sending folks out? Or are things mainly staid and settled? And how might we make the shift from “settled” to “sent”?
Over the next two weeks, I want to explore how each of the Evangelists (Gospel writers) depicts the charge of the church after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
- On October 14, I wrote about the Gospel of Matthew and the “Great Commission”.
- On October 21, I wrote about the Gospel of Mark and the “Unspoked Charge”.
- On October 28, I wrote about the Gospel of Luke and the commission Jesus gives to proclaim the Gospel to “all nations”.
In the Gospel of John, the crucified and risen Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene, and later that same (Easter) evening appears to the disciples. The first words that Jesus speaks are, “Peace be with you!” Then Jesus shows the disciples the wounds on his hands and feet. The disciples are delighted that Jesus is alive! Jesus repeats his opening line, “Peace be with you”, and then commissions them to be a sent community. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you!” Jesus then ties seals the commission of being “sent” with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).
These are important words that the crucified and risen Jesus speaks to His followers. Words that Jesus intended for both them and us.
- How have you experienced the peace of Jesus in your life and in the life of the parish?
- How has the community around your parish experienced the peace of Jesus?
- Think about how Jesus witnessed and served during His life on earth?
- To whom do you think Jesus might be sending you for witness and service?