Finding God's peace at times of turmoil
As I write, the news is changing shape, hour by hour, in response to the current Coronavirus situation.
I can’t help but be reminded of the film, “Outbreak”, from 1995, starring Dustin Hoffman. According to Netflix, the film centres around an army virologist who tries to thwart a global biological meltdown in the form of a killer virus. Isn’t it odd how life imitates art sometimes?
There is a lot of understandable anxiety, based around what’s going on around us. The Swiss theologian Karl Barth, famously wrote that Christians should evaluate major news events in the light of the Bible, rather than vice versa.
The gospel writer John records that the events surrounding the death of Jesus caused the disciples to feel great fear and anxiety. They didn’t understand what had happened. They were worried they might be next. They met behind locked doors – for added protection.
When Jesus first appeared to the disciples in his resurrected state, the first thing he said to them was ‘Peace be with you’. Christians believe peace is the real presence of God, despite the circumstances. The writer Paul said this peace “transcends all understanding”.
Even when the chips are down, God can breathe his Spirit into us, and we can know he is there with us. This is tremendously liberating.
The Easter message of God’s presence through turmoil, bringing peace, and an unexpected outcome of resurrection, is so relevant for our times. No matter what we go through, God is with us, and brings us out the other side.
I hope you will join us to journey with Jesus this Easter, through the events of Holy Week and the joy of Easter celebrations.
May God’s peace be with you.