Reading these last few chapters of John is like being able to enter into a deeply personal time between Jesus and his disciples. Imagine the scene: Jesus is speaking, and his voice is a little broken because what he is saying is hard… “In a little while you will not see me…” The disciples, men and women, sit around quietly, trying hard to understand. The remnants of a meal remain on the table. They sit comfortably around the room. But their hearts are heavy. They feel that something hard is approaching and yet they don’t fully understand. Then Jesus talks about a woman going through the pain of labor and delivery, yet there’s joy when the baby is born. They understand that. They have seen that many times, pain and joy experienced at the same time. If you and I were sitting right there with Jesus, what would we understand?
We are aware of the many sorrows we face today. Maybe the sorrow of a world in chaos, a world filled with violence, poverty, hunger, and pain. Maybe the sorrow of the loss of a loved one, the sorrow of loneliness, or financial distress. Maybe even a little closer to home: the sorrow of a diagnosis we’re still trying to wrap our minds around, or a broken relationship, even that of a child gone astray (the list could go on and on)… and we wonder, how could that sorrow ever turn to joy. Are Jesus’ words relevant to our world today?
What if that situation we are in is pregnant with a possibility of unexplainable joy ahead? Today, we may not understand our circumstances and we may not be able to change them. However, let’s not miss the possibility of a transformational joy that can invade our every corner through the power of the Holy Spirit! Amen!
Read: John 16:16-33
Questions to Consider:
- If you were sitting in that room with Jesus, what question would you ask of him?
- Do you know someone who is going through a time of “sorrow?” How can you send joy their way?
So What Activity: Next time you are sharing a meal with someone, today, tomorrow or next week, pay attention to their words. There might be some unexpected joy in the words they are sharing with you.