On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" John 20:19
The arrest, crucifixion, and death of Jesus were very traumatic to the disciples. Judas committed suicide, while the other disciples went into hiding for fear they may also be arrested and crucified. Amid all the commotion, the disciples retreated into a room, locked the door, and anxiously awaited for the political and religious storm to be over. Then, all of a sudden, Jesus appeared among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Jesus did not berate the disciples for being afraid. He comforted them and gave them his peace. Jesus could have questioned their loyalty. Instead, he met them at their point of need. Indeed, peace is what the disciples needed during that turbulent and perplexing season.
Many people need the peace of Christ during these anxious times. Like the disciples in today’s text, some people are hiding in their houses, afraid of what may happen to them. They are unsure about the future and in desperate need of hope. Some are paralyzed with fear of Coronavirus and the economic recession that is threatening their economic viability. Yet the Lord wants me to remind his people there is no need to hide.
Sheltering-in-place does not have to mean hiding. Our spiritual gifts are needed now more than ever. Those who have the gift of healing can activate that gift even as they shelter-in-place. The gifts of knowledge and wisdom are particularly needed to help churches thrive during these difficult times. Many who have lost their jobs or businesses need wise counsel in planning for the future. My brothers and sisters with the gifts of faith should help those who are struggling to see how they are going to come out of this crisis.
My point is that this is not the time for the saints of God to hide. The world needs us to be the living witnesses we claim to be. We cannot hide in our houses as many people struggle with food insecurity. Last week a friend of mine did a virtual fundraiser to help the barbers at his barbershop. How can you leverage your gifts and resources to help others in these difficult times?
The disciples did not hide for long. After sheltering-in-place in the Upper Room for ten days, the disciples led a spiritual revolution that changed the world. The Holy Spirit came upon them while they were hiding in the upper room. May I tell you the Holy Spirit can use you for God’s kingdom work while you are sheltering-in-place!
There is much kingdom work to be done during these difficult times. God is forcing many of us to take much-needed rest so we can be revived spiritually. However, this is not a time for idleness. I am doing more for the kingdom of God now than I did before COVID-19. And the longer this crisis persists, the more people I will have to pray for, to encourage, and to bless.
It is time you turn your house into an Upper Room so the Holy Spirit can rush in and fill your whole house. Many are waiting for you to use your spiritual gifts so they can walk in the peace of God. Do not hide the gifts that have been poured in you. Rather, share them with the people in your neighborhood or your church, or your extended family or your colleagues at work. This is your season to let your light shine so that others can see the Christ in you.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give us the courage to step out on faith to do your kingdom work.