Daily Lectionary:Proverbs 17:1-28; John 16:17-33
A little while . . . (John 16:17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. How long is a little while? The disciples wanted to know. Are we talking 15 minutes, 15 days, or 15 years?
God’s been talking like this since the Old Testament. “The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor; it’s time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest shall come” (Jeremiah. 51:33). “For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction” (Isaiah 10:25). “A little while”: words that mean there’s going to be waiting, and with waiting all the headaches that go with it. The disciples witnessed the scourging, trial, and death of their Lord, and spent three agonizing and terrifying days waiting for the resurrection.
We focus on the waiting. To be sure, Jesus says, “You will weep and lament, the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy” (John 16:20). How long until we see the joy? A little while, but your sorrow will not be forever. Your joy, however, is and will be forever! Today you hear that it’ll be a little while until we see the fulness of our Lord’s blessings, but even in the little whiles, which might seem to last for a very long time, even there in the waiting, sadness, sorrow, depression, grief, Christ our Lord abides with us still.
Sorrows will be turned to joy. In a little while there will only be joy. But even now, for a little while, there is joy in the midst of all that we suffer. Waiting for loved ones to get better, suffering through a breakup, struggling to find a job–a little while where God attends to you, a little while where you will be sorrowful, when you will weep and lament. Yet it is Christ who sorrows with you. He cries tears with you, laments with you still. God sends you His good Gifts under bread and wine, in the sign of the cross that reminds you that you’re marked as the apple of God’s eye. For a little while you are filled with all that you need for this body and life that will give way to an eternity of peace and joy. A little while but not forever. Until forever, Christ finds you, wipes your tears away, forgives you your sin and loves to take care of you still. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, by the patient endurance of Your only-begotten Son You beat down the pride of the old enemy. Help us to treasure rightly in our hearts what our Lord has borne for our sakes that, after His example, we may bear with patience those things that are adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.
Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.