17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” John 16:17-18
I am resonating with the disciples in the Gospel reading for this week. They are confused. Jesus seems to be talking nonsense to them. I look around my world and my church and I have to admit that am perplexed as to just what Jesus is up to in this time. It feels like the church of my youth has evaporated or been replaced by a much diminished and far less impressive substitute. Jesus is honest with us today, brutally honest with us. The tension which I feel between the not and the not-yet of faith is hard. It is painful. There is weeping involved and much work. Jesus compares it to a woman in labor. If you have ever attended someone in labor, you know a little of what He means. But He makes a promise to us. There is joy on the other side of the labor. We do weep. The world does scorn and reject us. But our sorrow is turned to joy. The woman who labors holds the baby in her arms. And so, I must wait. God teaches me patience.