Over the years of pastoral visiting I have frequently had this experience: I read a familiar passage from Scripture and the person receiving the words comments on their new and fresh understanding. Often it is a changed context or a different season of life that has made for that new hearing of familiar words. The radical change of context within which we are now living under COVID-19 has changed our listening and receiving of Scripture.
Psalm 4 is a prayer most likely offered in the midst of some great crisis or calamity. The prayer speaks of a desperate yearning for relief. There is a desperation for calm, serenity, balance and a new context in which all things may flourish in shalom. The poet yearns for a peace that will cover even his sleep.
In verse 8, the poet shows us how to shelter in place with true peace by reminding us that God is that peace’s ultimate source. “…for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
The whole of the Easter Sunday story from John 20 points to the Risen Lord Jesus as the one in whom we can dwell for ultimate safety. He is our peace. In fact, as we can read, Jesus offers a personal word to his followers at least three times, “Peace be yours.” (John 20:19, 21,26)
As we move forward from Easter 2020 with awareness of our current circumstances, let’s know that we can find relief from all calamities and fears by aligning ourselves with the Risen Christ. By the working of the Holy Spirit, we can receive our Lord’s personal word of peace in a new and fresh way.
“Peace be yours.”
PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT: Dear God, relieve our fears, anxieties. Fulfill our yearning for true peace. We long to flourish. Help us to trust the Risen Lord Jesus and know that in Him we may dwell in safety and be at rest. Fill us with the Holy Spirit and speak directly to our hearts the words of Jesus, ‘Peace be yours.’ In the power of the Risen Lord. Amen.