Sunday, May 2, 2010

Easter 5

We went to one of the oldest churches in the area, one using TLH! So the members of our little group were quite excited. The readings were Acts 11:1-18, Revelation 21:1-7, and John 16:12-22 (sermon text).

"A little while" is explained by Jesus in the text. He truly understands what is meant by His parable of a woman in labor, for He created all. There are other "little" whiles - childhood, discipline, adolescence - but also in non-domestic situations. There are "little" whiles of mourning, loss, pain - and joy. Christ's death, sorrow, was soon turned to joy by His resurrection. Now He is with us forever, not visibly, but truly.

Until He returns, the Church weeps in its labor as the world rejoices for a time. When the world tempts us with this "joy," we too often forget that peace with the world equals enmity with God. Remember that the tribulation now will be replaced by eternal joy in God's proximity! For now, rejoice that Christ is very near you, as the Spirit declares forgiveness of your sins.

Do you thirst for something other than this "little while"? You should, for that is the tendency God implanted in you. Yearn in the meantime for the gifts Christ freely gives. He suffered an eternal little while for you in death to be able to give you a place with God without perishing. Take courage and rejoice in the little while of tribulation in this earthly life, comparable to a concentration camp. Past death is endless Life.

Soli Deo gloria.

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