Our local preachers and worship leaders from across the circuit will each be sharing a regular prayer or thought for the day....
Today's thought has been provided by Lesley Hopwood, a member of our church at Great Ayton.
John 20: 19
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came among them and said, "Peace be with you."
I'm sure we've all read the above verse many times and "thought" we understood – of course they were afraid, the Pharisees would be on their case just as they had been on Jesus'. We can all see that! Of course they missed their teacher and of course doubt still assailed them despite news of an empty tomb! We've always understood............. haven't we?
Doubt, fear, grief, locked doors.......... Ring any bells? How our present makes that fear more palpable! It's a frightening, truly worrying time as we contemplate further weeks of lockdown. It's a waiting game and it isn't easy.
There's an apocryphal story that emerged in World War 2 about a meeting between Hitler, Mussolini and Churchill in 1940.
"They met for tea in Paris by a famous pond full of carp. Hitler claimed that he had won the war and was backed up by Mussolini, Churchill defied him. Realising that the meeting wouldn't progress very far, Churchill decided to resort to a wager. He decided that the first person to catch a carp without using fishing equipment would be the winner of the war.
Hitler pulled out his revolver and shot at the fish but missed.
Mussolini jumped in and tried with his bare hands, but failed.
Churchill got out a spoon and started tossing water over his shoulder.
When asked why, he replied "It will take a long time, but we're going to win!"
(A Box of Delights, J. John and Mark Stibbe, Monarch books)
It's going to take a while yet but let us remember, no door could keep Jesus out, and in every telephone call, doorstep delivery, friendly wave and shouted words of greeting, He comes among us too, and gives us His peace. Whatever our worries, our fears, may we learn to live each day, each moment in the light of His love for "He is Risen! Alleluia!"
"Lord, at this difficult time, make your dwelling place within us. We celebrate Your appearing to the disciples and Your presence with us now, Amen."