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Peace Be with You

John 21019-31

Rev. Kurt Hering


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Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, and Faith Lutheran-Hugoton  
Kansas

Wed, Dec 31, 1969 

Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.

“Peace be with you.” That is to say, “Jesus is with you.

This peace and joy was so far beyond the peace and joy we get from any of the things and experiences and people of this world. No matter how appealing or satisfying or charismatic they may be at the time, you always end up searching for the next escape from your troubles because they leave you empty of the lasting peace and true joy to be found only in our risen Savior.

To hear the entire sermon as it was preached to the saints at Divine Savior-Niwot, CO for Quasimodo Geniti Sunday (Easter 2), "Peace Be with You," click on the audio link provided above.

Graphic: "Doubting Thomas," by Franciszek Smuglewicz, oil on canvas ca. 1800, National Museum in Warsaw.

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

He is risen! – He is risen indeed!

Alleuia! – Alleluia!

Text: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:19–21

Dearly beloved, newborn children of God,

“Peace be with you.” That is to say, “Jesus is with you.

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews.”

But it wasn’t just the Jews they feared. The disciples have filled themselves with doubt and disbelief and dread. Jesus is dead, and they didn’t even stand up for Him, let alone with Him. The night He was arrested in the Garden “They all left Him and fled.”

Think about that for a moment. They had deserted and left this One that they had confessed to be “the Christ, the son of the living God [Matthew 16:16],” to suffer the greatest of tortures and most shameful of executions.

Imagine you had been entrusted with babysitting your little baby brother or sister, your godchild, your grandchild and they got hurt, or worse--all because you were busy talking or texting on the phone, watching TV, playing a video game, or making out with your boyfriend/girlfriend—you know, those things you do to try to find a bit of escape from the realities of life and pursue some happiness in the world.

Yeah, that kind of fear times at least 100.

Jesus comes to remove that and fill them with the joy that comes from knowing that not only did Jesus survive and overcome that which they left Him to face alone, but the living God did not hold their doubt, disbelief, despair, and abandonment of Him against them.

Now I really want you to think about that. Can you imagine the relief—the load off their mind and heart and conscience? That is the kind of peace and joy brought by our Lord, with which Jesus filled His disciples to an unimaginable level with His resurrection appearances.

This peace and joy was so far beyond the peace and joy we get from any of the things and experiences and people of this world. No matter how appealing or satisfying or charismatic they may be at the time, you always end up searching for the next escape from your troubles because they leave you empty of the lasting peace and true joy to be found only in our risen Savior.

It not only was, but still IS:

• “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [that comes only when the Holy Spirit keeps] your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:4-7]

• and the “the joy of our salvation” restored unto us. [Psalm 51:12]

by our risen and ascended Lord in the Word & Sacrament means of grace He delivers in His Holy Christian Church by the work of the Holy Spirit as often at it is desired and requested by His people.

For this is the peace brought from heaven above and come to earth with our Lord and the level of joy with which Jesus fills you in the Baptismal life of His church.

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:21-22

And, it is also the kind of peace brought by our Lord and the level of joy with which Jesus fills the world as He leaves you here and sends you out to those who have yet to know that kind of peace and be filled with such joy.

"Ye Sons and Daughters of the King"

4. That night the Apostles met in fear,

Amidst them came their Lord most dear

And said: "Peace be unto you here":

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Yes, He sends His disciples then, and the ministers of His church—and even you dear newborn children of God—NOW, to bring that peace of the forgiveness of sins to the world. The disciple whom Jesus loved, as John refers to himself in all humility as unworthy of such love, speaks of this peace a number of times in His Gospel because whenever Jesus comes, though He comes to forgive and declare peace, His disciples—like all sinners—are always afraid.

• But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:26-27

• I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Thus, [as Luther preaches on this text]: we hear again what the power and benefit of Christ’s resurrection are, namely, that Christ, when he comes with such a sermon, brings peace and joy; and these are the true fruits of faith as they are mentioned among the other fruits of the Spirit by St. Paul in Galatians 5:22.

“For when he comes he finds his disciples still sitting in fear and terror both from without because of the Jews and from within because of their consciences, and yet very weak and slow of heart to believe, although they had heard from the women and some of the disciples that he had risen from the dead. “

That the devil lays all sorts of temptations before you to despise God’s Word and seek your pleasure in sin; that the world rages against you, and seems to be crushing you with its demands and responsibilities; that the lusts and weakness of your own flesh rear their ugly heads when you are at your best and at your worst tells you not that God is your enemy. It tells you that THEY are your enemies, more than that, they are GOD’s enemies.

Luther concludes his point: “But while this saddened their hearts and they were talking with one another about it, behold, Christ appears and hails them with the friendly greeting after the Hebrew custom, “Peace be unto you!” which means in our language, to wish one everything good.”

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:31-34

“Peace be with you.” That is to say, “Jesus is with you, showing you His wounds, even giving you His crucified and risen flesh. Just as Jesus gave Thomas what he needed to quell his doubt and calm his fears, so He gives you what you need in His means of grace—Word & Sacrament—as they are breathed out into us by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, in His holy Christian Church for the forgiveness of sins, Life , and salvation by His servants of the Word. These are the signs He does among you and among all the members of His body here on earth until He comes again in glory, the [mysteries] by which you are forgiven all your sins and delivered from God’s wrath into a life of peace and joy, forever-- in the name of the Father, and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Please rise and join your hearts with me in prayer before we sing the Offertory.

Easter Tuesday Prayer

Almighty God, through the resurrection of Your Son You have secured peace for our troubled consciences. Grant us this peace evermore that, trusting in the merit of Your Son, we may come at last to the perfect peace of heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.



Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.



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