When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week… and Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ (John 20:19)
As I was getting settled into my plane seat, it became quickly apparent that the couple across the aisle was angry at each other. By the time we hit cruising altitude, they were in a full-fledged fight. Old hurts and current frustrations were hurled back and forth. They seemed driven to damage each other.
The wife went to the bathroom. The man turned to me, and it appeared like he wanted to say something, but no words came. As that man and I looked at each other, I was given a word to share.
Before I share the word, it’s important for you to know that I could tell that this couple was Jewish because the man was wearing a yarmulke. The word I was given was “Shalom,” which is the Jewish word for “Peace.”
Looking at him, I said, “Shalom.” Stunned, he asked, “What did you say?”
I said, “Shalom.”
His wife then returned. Pointing to me, he said, “Do you know what that man just said?”
With an edge, she asked, “What?”
He said, “Shalom.”
I didn’t know how they would react, but then both of them began to breathe very deeply. They took each other’s faces and began to say the word “shalom” again and again. They began to cry. They apologized. They kissed. God’s peace covered and filled them.
On the first Easter morning, Jesus came to the disciples and said, “Peace.” What those disciples needed more than anything else was God’s peace.
Jesus comes to us and says the same thing: “Peace.” Like that couple on that flight, there are occasions and circumstances when we’re desperate for God’s peace. When we’re filled with shame, remorse, pain, grief, or anxiety, only God’s peace will still our hearts and calm our minds.
As we were leaving the plane, the couple profusely thanked me. They said, “How did you know that shalom was the one word we most needed to hear?”
I only shared the word that we all sometimes most need to hear. Today I encourage us to see Jesus taking our face and saying “Peace” until it covers and fills us like it did for that couple at 39,000’.
- Have you ever felt like God’s peace had come to you during a time of great need? When and what were the circumstances?
- Is there someplace or circumstance in your life where and how you need God’s peace to cover and fill your anxious mind or hurting heart?
- Is there someone you need to share God’s peace with? If so, when will you do so?