Guest / Limited Access /

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."
John 20:19-21

Hiding is an inescapable part of the human condition, and it started early:

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Gen. 3:8).

In last Sunday's lectionary reading from the Gospels, we see a similar pattern. The disciples hide in a house behind locked doors, because they are afraid of the authorities who had just murdered their master.

After Monday's horrific massacre in Virginia, most of us will want to go and do likewise. We'll want to hide from God, from others, and from ourselves. The massacre disturbs us not because it's unusual but because it reminds us of the many slaughters inflicted on innocents everyday across the globe. It is a frightening icon of our vulnerability and mortality.

We are right to be afraid. The enlightened, scientific, rational ethos that pervades our culture hypnotizes us into believing that with every biomedical breakthrough and fresh psychological insight we are progressing as a species. That's a lie. Psychologists work mightily to shape relationships and convince us we really are "safe." But we're not safe. It's as simple as that. We're vulnerable. And we know it. And so we hide.

The man and woman hid themselves "among the trees ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueYou Are the Manure of the Earth
Subscriber Access Only You Are the Manure of the Earth
Jesus' metaphor about salt was actually about fertilizer.
RecommendedMormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away
Mormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away
What should we make of claims that the two faiths are on a path to reconciling?
TrendingResearch Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
Research Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
A study of 250 congregations suggests that youth and young adults want substance rather than style.
Editor's PickOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Christianity Today
Peace in a World of Massacre
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.