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.
(John 20: 19)
The church ruins of Saint Dunstan in the East stand amongst the office buildings of Tower Hill in the city of London. With trees and lawn growing around and inside the nave, and with a fountain in the centre of the nave, it is an oasis of tranquility.
The church has a chequered history. Built around 1100 AD, it was damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was repaired and then enlarged with the addition of a steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren. However, the walls were not robust and the nave was rebuilt in 19th century, accommodating 600-700 worshippers. Following further damage in the Blitz 1945, the ruins were not rebuilt, but made safe for public access. The spire remains undamaged.
Worshippers through the ages would have sought an inner peace through the liturgy and talks. These were originally in Latin, until printing of first bible in English in 1535 on the nearby printing presses of Southwark (now the site of St Thomas’ Hospital).
Today the church provides peace from the busy office lives and delivery traffic around it. I came across it a couple of years ago during a historical walk in the City of London. One of my children revisited it this week, with his lunch in hand, as workers return to their London workspaces.
The peace of the Lord is available to all throughout the ages, throughout the week, and even in the most unlikely of places. Let us find our own time to appreciate it.
A Prayer (Numbers 6:24-26)
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favour and give you his peace.