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Peace be with you

How often have you wondered what to do next? Sometimes we simply have too many choices so the way forward is unclear. At other times, we think we know where we are headed, but then a surprise arrives. We stop in our path because suddenly, we don’t know what to do next.

In the Gospel this week, the disciples have clearly been caught by surprise. Their leader was crucified. Some report that he is risen from the dead, but for Thomas, all this is outside his comfort zone. In order to move forward, he wants proof.

There is a saying that all the magic happens outside your comfort zone. In order to grow, we have to move beyond what we are comfortable doing into areas that challenge us. The disciples were comfortable following Jesus. With his death and resurrection, they had to step out of the comfortable position of being a follower and into a new position of leadership.

Luckily for the disciples (and us), Jesus visits them again. Thomas receives his proof, but more importantly, they all receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus recognized that his disciples were surprised and outside their comfort zone. His greeting, “Peace be with you,” and the gift of the Holy Spirit were ways to help them move forward, to move out into the world, and to carry on the mission he gave them.

We are here today because the disciples took the next step, moved ahead, outside their comfort zone and into their new roles as leaders. Where is your comfort zone in being a disciple? How can you step outside it? Could it be picking up the hymnal and singing? Saying hello to someone in a pew nearby? Inviting someone to come to the Cathedral?

However you may choose to step outside your comfort zone, keep the greeting of Jesus always in mind: “Peace be with you.”