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Locked Doors, Elements and Jesus

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Do you remember Easter 2020? I’ll never forget it. A month had transpired since the pandemic lock-down due to fear of the corona virus. The fear was reasonable. Over 350,000 people died before the year ended. But after a month, none of us could have guessed how long we’d have to be living in so much isolation.

I was serving a small congregation in Colorado at the time and was sharing online worship with a nearby ELCA congregation. It took me a little time, but eventually, I had learned how to set up Zoom meetings and record devotions on YouTube.

On the evening of Easter 2020, I held my congregation’s first Zoom gathering. Prior to that gathering, volunteers made little rounds of Communion bread and bought small bottles of wine. I bagged and blessed the elements, and volunteers dropped them off at every member’s home. Then, we read the story of Jesus’ first appearance to his disciples on the eve of his resurrection. We shared our fears in that moment. We experienced the powerful presence of Christ in bread and wine and the fellowship we shared at that virtual table.

Do you remember the time? We all felt alone and separated. Could the risen Jesus really show up and be present among us all as we shared the Lord’s Supper on Zoom together? I believe he did! Locked doors don’t keep Jesus from showing up, even if we don’t recognize him there.

What astounded me about the pandemic, for all the rumblings and complaints that transpired over time, was that people connected to each other in those Zoom meetings far more than I could’ve imagined. The conversations were real as we all shared the same fear. Peace settled among us as we shared the powerful presence of Christ wherever we gathered, even if we were all behind locked doors in our own homes.

What fears and anxieties have you experienced when you metaphorically or literally were hiding behind “locked doors”? How have you experienced the peace of Christ’s presence in those spaces?


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