Parenting has taken on a new thinking, so it seems. I am not an expert on parenting, but I am aware that the American culture takes on a great new focus on the topic of expert parenting. We seem to have more information on what to feed our kids, how to educate, and how to discipline them. That discipline has been transformed from the soap my grandma stuck into my mouth to timeouts, and now to a reward based scenario for honoring what you say as a parent. I find that Mindy and I bring our historic views of parenting, and blend them into the new way. Recently, the bedtime routine has been rough. Some of you know that my kids call chocolate milk, ‘Bunny’. They are allowed one cup at bedtime. Yes, the dentists in my life do not agree with me, but trust me, it used to be much worse. We got it to one cup! Just a reminder that pastors are not perfect--they need God’s forgiveness also. Anyway, as the bedtime routine has been a challenge, I have started to make Jacob and Gavin wait for their one cup of ‘Bunny’. Some days this goes over well with the desired effect. At other times it goes over with crying fits and all kinds of other craziness. Jacob started asking after we read our books, the Bible, and say our prayers, “Do I have to earn ‘Bunny’ tonight?” Then he would say, “How many minutes do I have to wait?” The other night he told Mindy, “I am waiting so patiently, but Dad has not brought me ‘Bunny’.” Now, of course, there is a debate on what he considers waiting patiently; but regardless, I see something funny in those moments. I see his adult language emerge, but I also see how we as humans revert back to being kids.
Do you ever feel like you are asking God a similar question? “God I am waiting so patiently for . . ..” (You fill in the blank.) “How many minutes do I have to wait on God for . . .?” This weekend the readings in our worship speak about when the waiting is over. They discuss what it will be like to be restored by Jesus. They offer us a glimpse of our journey to heaven. They begin with this unique line, “In a little while . . ..” In our fast paced culture “In a little while . . .” doesn’t sit well. The disciples who were walking with Jesus everyday heard, “In a little while . . .” and it was confusing to them. They began asking Jesus what this phrase meant.
For years Christians have looked at this life and also wondered what Jesus meant by “In a little while . . ..” What does waiting patiently for His kingdom to be restored mean? How long do we watch the tragedies of this world and wait? How many more minutes?
This weekend we take a deeper look into the words, “In a little while . . ..” As the disciples were waiting and listening to what Jesus was saying, and then heard him explain, “In a little while you will see me no longer.” What did that do to them? How hard was it? What does that mean for us today? How is “In a little while . . .” a good thing? We take time to look into that, as we continue to celebrate Easter. With the tragedies of life and the challenges of sin still among us, we focus on the celebration of what is to come and what we can do while we wait.