John 20:19-22 (NRSV)
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.' After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.
We often long for moments of peace in our lives where we know we are going to be okay. For some that peace is found in nature.
A few years ago a friend was going through a tough time. He wasn't happy at his job, his wife had just had a miscarriage, and he felt unsettled and angry.
The friend and his wife had a chance to visit the Grand Canyon, and they jumped at it. They arrived at night, checked into their lodge and woke before dawn the next day to hike along the rim. Their goal was to set up in the perfect position to witness the sunrise over the canyon walls. It was Raymond's first time seeing it in person, and he instantly understood why such a sight could move someone to find their faith.
Raymond sat on a rock at the edge and stretched his legs out over the chasm, feeling very small and vulnerable. Far in the distance, he could just make out the Colorado River, looking like just a tiny trickle, still flowing.
Raymond had feelings of awe, wonder and relief. He could feel and see God's presence in this amazing place, and a feeling of peace began to come over him. He would be okay. They would be okay. He just had to open his eyes to the wonder, beauty, and awe surrounding him every day. He just had to open his heart to God's presence.
Even the most skeptical among us long for the peace the Holy Spirit can bring. In those moments when we feel the Holy Spirit, we are reminded that things will be okay, and that we are not alone; for God is with us through the valleys, peaks, and all the in between moments of our lives.
God of rainbow and rivers, we are in awe of the world around us. Remind us to find beauty in our daily living and in grand vistas. Help us to always leave room for your Spirit to enter into our lives. Amen.