John 20:19-21 NRSVue
19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Unity is not easy. It is not just similarity. Unity doesn’t mean we all pretend all is well. It’s living with, accepting, even enjoying differences. Some differences are too much for friendship or family but we can still value the other and not fight. The past does not disappear. As unity demands tolerance, at times it will demand forgiveness and a wish for healing and freedom. At other times if we are to get along side by side it means reconciliation, and a new relationship. The Spirit in each of us can help unity. Pray for someone you are at odds with - believe that he or she has the Spirit of God like you. It helps! This is some of the Spirit of Pentecost.
A great gift of the risen Lord is the forgiveness of our sins. The claim that he could forgive sins was one of the reasons he was brought to death, for only God could forgive. Forgiveness is given day by day in various ways. Through the community of his followers in the church we are given the forgiveness of our sins. We need this gift and the grace of knowing that God is always the God of another chance, never remembering our sins forever.
Jesus repeats his greeting, 'Peace be with you.' As Jesus wishes the same blessing for me I consider what might come between me and the blessing Jesus offers.
Fear caused the disciples to lock the doors. This security did not, however, bring them peace. Closing people out leads them to be seen as a threat and seems at odds with Jesus’ way