When the Risen Jesus appeared to the disciples,
they were undoubtedly surprised.
Even though he had often told them that he would rise from the dead,
they had not yet believed him.
When he appeared to them, alive, in the locked room where they hid,
he said to them three times, “Peace be with you.”
On this second Sunday of Easter,
I want to focus on the peace that the risen Jesus brings to us.
That peace, the peace that passes understanding,
is the peace we share, the peace we are given, and the peace we work for.
Today I have three stories of peace for you:
one global, one local, one personal.
With each of these stories comes a challenge for us:
the challenge to share the peace of Christ in every place, in every way.
Our first story is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the DRC.
A little history of Presbyterians in the Congo is in order.
Back in the 1890s, as Protestant missionaries began work in Africa,
the Presbyterians sent William Sheppard to the Congo.