In addition to presenting many creative contemplative retreats at our Center, Debra Donnelly-Barton is the Executive Director of the Center for Spiritual Development and she is also a Spiritual Director. Debra shared the reflection below from the blog on her site. You can click here to explore her website too.
Peace Be with You
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.’
I have been teaching a Zoom class on Christian Meditation each Wednesday evening. We started meeting when we could meet in person and at church, then before we knew it we needed to decide if we wanted to continue virtually.
And yet that word virtual doesn’t really describe what we are doing or experiencing as we share and keep silence together over Zoom. It’s a bit more like the disciples behind locked doors in the Upper Room. We are afraid. We are separated from our old lives and not sure of the future. While our doors may not be actually locked they are closed. We have been stopped in our tracks.
Then Jesus! In whatever locked rooms we inhabit Jesus comes offering peace and the Holy Spirit. He stood among the disciples. His presence not abstracted but immediate. And He said just what they needed to hear and what we need to hear, I believe. “Peace-Peace be with you.”
When we gather on computer screens – each person inhabiting his or her own square – I see the reality of the Spirit as companion. As I hold the space and attend to the timing of our silence, I see faces illuminated by the radiance of Peace. And somehow, surprising as it seems, we deepen our silence as we did when we prayed face to face.
God is not on lockdown. Prayer is not quarantined. It may be hard to find our way right now, and it is some days, but the Christ who ‘stood’ with the disciples in the Upper Room is standing with us – right now.
Peace be with You.