This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on June 8, 2014.
A quick glance at many congregations’ prayer life might lead one to think that Christians believe the major goal of life is to get well, to stay well, or to be safe. According to many of our prayers, the goal is to stay out of harm’s way. I imagine that as the disciples sat huddled in that room behind locked doors on that first Easter Sunday (20:19), they offered up similar prayers to ours, “Lord God, keep us safe.” They had reason to pray such prayers. Their leader, Jesus, had been crucified just a few days before. That alone was enough to make them think they might be in danger, too. Now there were other reasons to be afraid. That very morning a handful of the disciples had seen Jesus’ empty tomb. While Mary Magdalene claimed to have seen Jesus alive, the other disciples remain unsure! The talk of resurrection was all about town, and the Jewish leaders were in a huff. They had killed Jesus to quiet the crowds. Now the talk was louder than ever. The disciples could only imagine what the Jewish leaders’ next move would be. Our imaginations often get the best of us. Did the disciples imagine crosses and stonings and all sort of torture and abuse? Is this why the doors were locked and the prayers were fervently offered for safety and deliverance from harm? Notice that the disciples weren’t out looking for Jesus, were they? Their primary concern seemed to be their own necks. Continue reading