Image credit: Christian Aid (Image of women praying in South Sudan)

Risking embarrassment

What a rich insight the disciples would have missed out on if they hadn’t risked their embarrassment and admitted that they didn’t understand what Jesus meant when he said ‘a little while’? 


Patient Jesus,

I must confess, I don’t quite understand

what you meant by those four words,

‘in a little while’?

Three days from cross, to tomb, to resurrection?

A little ‘three day’ while,

Or is it now? Is this the ‘little while’?

When you are with the Father and we’re muddling through?

Is this the in-between ‘little while’?

From when you went and when you will come again?

Because there are days when few rejoice,

when many share in weeping and mourning,

shocked by suffering and cruelty,

saddened by conflict and displacement

sore with grief for lives torn apart.

And we wonder,

Are these birth pangs for another possible world?

For a time when joy will be made complete, 

And never taken from us.

If this is what will happen ‘in a little while?’

Can it be very little?

So help us, God, Amen.

John 16:20

20 Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.


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