One of my early memories was my mother taking me to task for greeting someone with, “Hey!” She would invariably say, “Hay is for horses, not for people.” A greeting like, “What’s up?” is friendly and invites the other into conversation. When we lived in Kenya we learned that the proper greeting in Swahili is “Habari!” which means literally “news?” The mandatory response was “Mzuri,” which means literally “good.” For news was always good because God is always good. Opening greetings are important and carry hints of friendship, formality, and openness. Luke shares how Jesus appears Easter evening among the followers who have gathered behind locked door for fear of the Jews and who are comparing stories, not quite believing that Jesus is risen. Jesus’ greeting is “Peace be with you.” An atmosphere of calm and safety is invoked as he shows them his arms and bones to prove he is not a ghost and he is alive. Luke 24:36-49.
Jesus does not enter with large fanfare and noise and trumpets like some important dignitary but as his presence is recognized, a peace permeates the atmosphere so that worry, fear, and anxiety leave and joy is present. I would guess all the clamor and discussion stopped. All eyes were glued to Jesus. Ears were open to listen. Some scurried to bring a piece of boiled fish for him to eat. The heavy darkness of disbelief and fear evaporated.
What word would you like to hear from Jesus today? Love be with you. Power be with you. A friend is with you. You are not alone. You are valued. Thanks for trying. The dominate feelings of encounters after the resurrection seems to me to be affirmation. Peace implies that loneliness dissolves, hate dissolves, fear dissolves, and relationship is restored. We need not worry even though problems exist on the other side of the door. Jesus can go through doors and any barrier to be with us and to bring us peace. The God of the universe is at peace with us. WOW.