EASTER – WEEK 1 – TUESDAY
LESSON: PSALM 27
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
The fruit of Christian faith is peace, not merely the outward peace which we sometimes enjoy here on earth but the peace which Paul mentions in the Epistle to the Philippians, the peace “which passes all understanding.” Where this peace reigns, one should not and cannot apply the standards of human reason. This is also clear from the Gospel under consideration (John 20:19-21). At first, the disciples sit behind locked doors in great fear of the Jews. They cannot go abroad; death stares them in the face on all sides. There is external peace here. No one is really harming them. But inwardly their hearts are floundering and have no peace or rest.
The Lord comes to them in the midst of their fear and terror, calms their hearts, and makes them joyful. He takes away their fear.
He does not do this by removing the danger but by changing their hearts so that they cease fearing. This does not change or remove the animosity of the Jews, because they are angry and wrathful just as much as before. Outwardly, everything remains as it was. But the disciples are changed inwardly; they gain so much boldness and confidence that they joyfully declare, “We have seen the Lord.” Christ calms their hearts so that they become courageous and bold. They are no longer concerned how much the Jews may rage against them.
SL 11:726 (5-6)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, fill our hearts at all times with such boldness and confidence that we never compromise our faith because of the fear of men, but speak out clearly, loudly, and joyfully, for Christ sake. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 2:352-63.