NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR the THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER, APRIL 15, 201

This week, the first verse of the assigned gospel text references yet another encounter of the disciples with Jesus after the Resurrection. Jesus’s standard greeting right before and immediately following the resurrection is “Peace be with you.” I believe we miss many opportunities, gifts and blessings from God because we don’t take to heart this greeting by the Risen Christ.

Most people, even Christians don’t understand peace as a positive concept; but only know of the negative aspect of peace, which is merely the absence of trouble. But Jesus uses this greeting in a positive way.

The familiar word “Shalom,” or “Peace be with you,” in its purest sense doesn’t mean “I hope you don’t get into any trouble.” It means, “I hope you have all the highest good coming your way.”

Last week’s sermon was aimed to help us in having the highest good coming our way through “finding unity and peace in the resurrection.” This week it aims to help us to experience our highest hopes through “Confronting Fear and Doubt to Find Real Peace.”

Immediately following this greeting of “Peace be with you” by the Risen Christ, the next verse says of the disciples, “But they were afraid and full of fear. They thought they saw spirit.” Their reaction is typical of ours today. So often, we allow what we “think” to create fear and doubt which clouds our judgement, makes us feel insecure and holds us captive from many of God’s blessings. Jesus’ greeting tells us that we are to live in God’s gift of Peace. The only hope we have of experiencing the highest good coming to us is by “Confronting Fear and Doubt to Find Real Peace.”

Join us at Covenant on this Sunday morning. Let’s learn how to experience our highest good coming our way from a sermon called “Confronting Fear and Doubt to Find Real Peace” based on Luke 24:36-43.

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