Fifth Sunday of Easter – Series C
Jesus wrestles with the fact that we often feel so distant from Him. He does not appear like our Sunday School illustrations imagine. He is here, but he is not here. He is here through His Spirit, more truly here than ever we could have known Him in Galilee, yet we yearn for him all the same. Jesus likens this to the anguish of a woman in labor. But when the baby is born, the joy and wonder of new life in her arms makes all better.
In the first lesson, Peter wrestles with the tensions of Jesus who is found out in the world of the Gentiles, unexpectedly so. He thought that real Christians had to look a certain way and conform to his ideas of proper behavior. But the Spirit brings Jesus to strange places, even to the faces of folks who look very different from me.
In the second reading, John points us to a day when all this tension will dissolve, and God will descend with power and glory and take up his residence among people for all the world to see. Now there is tension. Then there is glory.