May 17, 2012 - Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98:1-4
John 16:16-20

Jesus is talking about his death and resurrection today. He spoke the words recorded in the Gospel: “A little while and you will no longer see me and again a little while later and you will see me.” Then, after a little while, he died on the Cross and was buried in the tomb and no one saw him, and then a little while later, he rose from the dead and his disciples saw him again.

The reason we have this Gospel today, when we finished with our yearly remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection over a month ago, is that these words can be applied to the second time that Jesus disappeared. Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples, he ascended into heaven. His disciples did not see him again. Someday, after a little while (but what exactly is a little while for God?), Jesus will come back and we will see him.

In the meantime, while we wait for Jesus to reappear, we “will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices.” This is the lot of Christians. The world rejoices, but we Christians weep. Why? Because the world rejoices in sin. The world rejoices in greed. The world rejoices in lust. The world rejoices in violence. How can a Christian rejoice in sin and greed and lust and violence?

I know that the world rejoices in these things because it is what I see on television and in movies. The world rejoices while Jesus is gone, but are we weeping? We are in the world, but the world is also in us. The world comes knocking at our soul, and we let the world in. “It is only reasonable,” the world tells us, “after all you are in the world.” Are we not going to watch television and movies? Are we going to be like foreigners in the world? Are we Christians just supposed to be weird?

Yes! If the Gospel is foreign to the world, and the Gospel is the standard of our lives, then we should seem strange to the world. The world tells us that normal people act a certain way. We must not give in to this peer pressure. When Jesus comes again, there will be a new normal. When Jesus comes again, the cool thing to do will be to love your neighbor as yourself and God above all else.