Daily Devotion Thursday, July 11

Thursday, July 11, 2013 – Psalm 26; 1 Samuel 16:14-17:11; Acts 10:17-33 and Luke 24:36-53

Luke 24:36-53 – 36While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Jesus said to them and says to us; “Peace be with you.” I really hope you can hear Jesus saying those words to you. We live with a lot of un-peace. Chaos sometimes seems to rule our lives. Into the chaos of the disciples’ world, our Lord said; “Peace be with you.” Into the chaos of our world our Lord says; “Peace be with you.”

The peace which Christ offers us is a peace that surpasses all understanding; peace that can penetrate the most dense, chaotic situations. See Philippians 4:6-7.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace which Christ offers is true wholeness in the core of our being. The Hebrew word is shalom. Spoken as a form of greeting and when leaving. In one sense our Lord is doing this with his disciples. He is saying; “Peace be with you”  as I stand in your midst and as I depart from you. “Peace be with you.”

The second aspect of this text is that he promises not to leave his disciples alone but to send upon them what his Father had promised. Thanks be to God for the gift of the Holy Spirit which reminds us, guides us, fills us and helps us throughout all our days.

Today, take some time to sit with these words from our Lord – “Peace be with you.” May you sense God’s Spirit upon you and within you, the Spirit which is even today the Spirit of our risen Lord.

Today’s reading ends our readings from Luke. We’ll be turning next to the Gospel of Mark which many believe to have been the first of the gospels. I’ll also begin our readings through Psalms, beginning tomorrow with Psalm 1.

O God, thank you for the promise of peace. Thank you for your Son, who came to bring peace and seeks to bring it unto us even this day. May your Spirit of peace flow upon us, into us and through us this day. This is our prayer as we hear Jesus saying unto us; “Peace be with you.” Amen.

Psalm 26 – 11  But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12  My foot stands on level ground;
in the great congregation I will bless the LORD.

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