I can’t believe Easter is just around the corner. Growing up Catholic, there was no way you could forget Easter was coming. From giving up something for Lent (I always gave up biting my nails, but it never worked. In fact, I still bite them), to receiving long palms on Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday itself, with pretty dresses and a big meal – you just don’t miss Easter when you are Catholic.
Now that I no longer go to a Catholic church, but a non-denominational church, most of the hoopla surrounding Easter isn’t there for me. (Many other churches/denominations do celebrate Lent, just not the one we attend.) On my way out to Denver I was thinking about how I have thought little about Easter and the story of Jesus dying for us in the past weeks. Sure I have prayed and what not, but not specifically recalled/pondered those final days leading up to the crucifixion.
This morning I read John 16:19-28. So much of it moved me. I love how Jesus compares the grief and pain of childbirth and then the joy that follows, to him dying and going to the Father, but in the end, this is joyful! While I haven’t gone through birth yet, I find much comfort in this comparison. Sometimes it is really hard to look beyond the pain of a moment though, isn’t it? We need the end and the joy before we can say Praise God! I strive to be able to know and experience the goodness of God, no matter what life may bring (including birth in a few months!)
Here is the passage.
19Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
25″Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
May the peace of Jesus be upon you today, no matter your circumstances.