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 scared, afraid of something?
You probably do. 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 will find me here, or were you distressed, bewildered, and sought help with your parents?
I do not know.
You may have also reacted differently, but you certainly felt very safe when your parents approached you. With their arrival, 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 described in this text by the evangelist John are events from the Sunday afternoon when Jesus rose from the dead. The disciples were sad and hopeless at the memories of Jesus' death. Filled with fear that the Jews might also come for them, they had hidden behind locked doors.
Suddenly, Jesus appeared in their midst.
They wondered how can this happen? Jesus died and had been buried. How could He stand in their midst? The disciples were terrified, confused, scared, and Thomas doubted. "Is He a ghost?" some asked. Not hardly. Jesus was no apparition or flight of their imagination. Jesus was resurrected and had sought them out to bring them incredibly good news.
First, He tries to put their fears to rest. He says, "Peace be with you!"
Fear and doubt: these are part of our lives and have been our companions since our birth. To be sure, the fears and doubts we had as children no longer trouble us, but other complications always arise, which leave us confused, sad and unsure how to proceed.
To help us in our distress we need someone who offers us a hand, someone who can protect us and really, truly give us lasting peace.
That Someone is the Savior. It is interesting to observe the loving way Jesus treated His disciples on Resurrection Sunday. In spite of all their fears and doubts, Jesus patiently reached out to them and assured them of the Father's love.
He knew these men were sinners who desperately needed His love, His grace, and His peace.
In a similar way, 2,000 years later, Jesus deals with us. He knows when difficulties arise in our lives we will be frightened, hopeless and distressed.
Jesus knows these things, and in His Word He comes to us to bring us peace. To those who are given ears of faith, they will hear Jesus say to them: "Peace be with you! Do not be afraid, I am with you!" Amen.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that even though I have great fears, I have an even greater Savior. May I be given ears of faith to hear and believe Him when He says: "Peace be with you." In Jesus' Name I pray it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was authored by Rev. Joenes Trams. Pastor Trams graduated from Concordia Seminary, São Leopoldo, Brazil, in 2013, and is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church from Brazil (IELB). He was an exchange student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013. Some of his vicarage was spent at Lutheran Hour Ministries in Brazil, where Lutheran Hour Ministries is known as Hora Luterana. Currently, Pastor Trams is serving the Lord in the north of Brazil at Concordia Congregation in Rolim de Moura, Rondônia State.
In this South American country of more than 204 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Brazil reaches out to Brazilians using 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," coordinates its work with various chaplaincy programs throughout Brazil, ministering to individuals in prisons and hospitals.
To read how LHM-Brazil shares the Good News of Jesus Christ with those struggling with drug addiction, you can visit its blog by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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