Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Light Within The Tunnel

John 16:16-24 16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. As the families were walking into church on a Sunday morning, one of the children asked “why are the banners purple?” “Great question!” I remarked.

“We use purple for the season of Lent. For Lent is a time of preparation as we see our sin and at the same time, see the need of the life-saving work of Jesus Christ alone”

Indeed, the sorrow of our sin is a reality in all of our lives. Therefore, as we continue in the season of Lent, it is a time of penitence as we dwell upon the humble diagnosis given through the mirror of the law that shows us the true sorrow for our sins. Speaking of sorrow, the pandemic has been a time of trial, suffering, testing, sorrow, stress, anxiety, and worry. And many use idiom, “there is light at the end of the tunnel” to rest in the hope of what is to come. Yet, it seems as the pandemic continues to loom, this idiomatic light seems to have lost its luster. Yet, a year has passed and now the vaccines are being given and this light at end of the tunnel is reappearing. Jesus instructs the disciples that they too will go through this tunnel of great sorrow as they see the death of their Lord upon the Cross. And great sorrow and grief it was! Yet the Lord promised,

22a “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice”, and on one will take your joy from you”.

For this joy is Jesus death and resurrection! By His Work, your joy is rooted in the deliverance through the blood of the lamb Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus promised from the roots of the resurrection, 22b “No one will take your joy from you”. Jesus says, “I am the light of the World. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. The joy of Gospel is already yours as Jesus eternal light is always with you, even in this tunnel [Mt 28:19-20]. In the midst of suffering [Rom5:1-11] our Lord turns our sorrow into joy. Yes, I am not saying that we do not face sorrows and affliction in our life, yet it is in these sorrows where we dwell upon the life -reversing Word, “surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows” [Is 53:4]. What comfort this brings! Though we walk through the valley of the shadow death we will fear no evil because by His Word, He is with us. Lent is a time of self-examination, yet it always leads to the promise-filled joy given by the blood of the Lamb at Calvary. Though we face much sorrow in these gray and latter days, joy has not departed nor has it hid itself. Rather, by way of Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Morn, our Lord’s joy [for you] has been made known in these very words, “He is not here, He is risen!” [Mt28:6]. Therefore, no one will take this joy from you because your joy is rooted in Christ and His finished work upon the Cross and empty tomb.

Yes, the world is relieved as they slowly see the light at the end of the tunnel. But for you, the true light at the end of tunnel is our Lord’s final return. But in the meantime, within this tunnel, the light of Christ is always with you. Through the Gospel and the Sacraments, we continue on in the pilgrimage of faith as we live from sorrow to joy! For this is Christ’s joyful promise to you now and forevermore. Amen.

✝️ Pastor Jeong

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email