On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." John 20:19
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Do you remember any time in your life when you were afraid of something?
Perhaps you remember a few moments from your childhood when you were in a dark room, alone, and heard a noise. What was your reaction and feeling at that moment? What did you think? You most likely remained silent, cowering, trembling and maybe thought hopefully no one bad will find me here.
Most of us will agree things changed; that is, we felt safe when our parents showed up. When your parents arrived, fear and doubt were dispelled, and you were sure you were safe and that no harm would come to you.
Fear and doubt.
These are words from the Gospel of John 20.19-31. What is stated there by the evangelist John had happened on the Sunday when Jesus rose. The disciples were sad and hopeless because of Jesus' death. Filled with fear of the Jews, they gathered in a small room and locked the doors.
Suddenly, Jesus appeared in their midst.
But how could that happen? Jesus had died and had been buried. How could He be among them? The disciples were terrified, confused, scared and, later, Thomas doubted. "Is this a ghost?" some thought. Jesus assured them He was quite real. He had risen and had come back to let them know they were not alone ... to tell them they would never again be alone.
This wonderful announcement Jesus makes with the words: "Peace be with you!"
Fear and doubt.
These feelings are part of our lives. On our own it is impossible to get rid of them. True, the fears and doubts we had as children may no longer trouble us, but other complications have arisen to take their place.
This is why we need Jesus. We need Someone who will offer us a hand, Someone who will protect us and give direction to our lives.
My friends, please note the loving way Jesus treated His disciples. Even with all their fears and doubts, Jesus protected them. The Master knew they were sinners and needed His love, His grace, and His peace.
In a similar way, Jesus deals with us. Especially at such times He comes to us, embraces us, and calms us down. This He does with those wonderfully simple words, "Peace be with you! Do not be afraid, I am with you!"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Son who can, if we will hear Him, calm our fears. May we always be grateful for the peace which is ours through our risen Redeemer. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Tiago Albrecht who, since 2011, has been pastor at Saint Mark Lutheran Church, in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Earlier he served the church in Macapá, a large city in northern Brazil near the Amazon forest area. He is married to Aline Koller, the current vice president of Communications of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brasil (IELB), a sister-church with the LCMS. In this South American country of 200 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Brazil operates as Cristo Para Todas as Nações (CPTN). Christian outreach programs include a daily radio program, Five Minutes with Jesus; a voice mail service, Messages of Hope; which is also distributed via e-mail; and a weekly "live" online Bible study. This ministry center also utilizes Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to train volunteers in sharing the Gospel. Another resource, Chaplaincy with Jesus, does coordinated work with various chaplaincy programs throughout Brazil, ministering to individuals in prisons and hospitals. To learn more about LHM's work in Brazil, you can visit its blog at lhmbrazil.wordpress.com.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries