John 20:19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.

It’s kind of ironic to hear of Christians hiding behind locked doors on a Sunday evening for fear of religious leaders. That is what is happening in Northern Iraq which is modern day Nineveh. Some of the oldest known population of Christians are hiding because the extreme Muslim group Isis is threatening to kill them if they do not convert to Islam. It’s understandable that they would be hiding in fear for their lives but what about us?

When we see this barbaric persecution of Christians other people of faith in the Middle East and innocent children shot down in the streets of America why are Christians in America hiding behind locked doors? What are we afraid of?

Jesus’ disciples were afraid that the same religious leaders of their day who crucified Jesus would soon come for them. They were hiding behind locked doors. Jesus came to the house where they were hiding and walked through a locked door. He said, “Peace be with you!” I can imagine that at that moment all their fear and anxiety dissipated. They were able to come out of hiding weeks later and impact the world by preaching, healing the sick, and casting out devils.

As post-modern Christians we have to stop hiding behind locked doors. We are not so much in fear of losing our lives as we are in losing our lifestyles. We are not hiding from religious murderers but rather the conviction of true religion. We are not hiding from the ones who killed Jesus but rather Jesus himself. We have the privilege of knowing that Jesus is alive but we have locked the doors on him.

Jesus says to us, “behold I stand at the doors and knock.” He wants us to open our locked doors.

1. Open the locked door of fear. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. We have to confront what we are afraid of and let Jesus in on it.

2. Open the door for Jesus to address our apathy. There is so much going on in the world that we have become numb and have chosen to lock ourselves away in houses of worship that never leave to serve the world.

3. Open the door for Peace to come in. We are hiding behind locked doors with false peace. Whenever there is injustice going on outside there is no peace inside. We must take the peace we get from being in relationship with Jesus and go out to confront the injustices on the outside. Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!”

Dear God,

Please meet us behind our locked doors today. We are fearful. We are stressed. But if you meet us behind these locked doors we will be blessed. Speak peace to our various situations, be they life threatening or just a threat to our way of life, speak peace.

In Jesus Name,

Amen