After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world." (For not even his brothers believed in him.) Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come." After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, "Where is he?" And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, "He is a good man," others were saying, "No, he is deceiving the crowd." Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews. John 7:1-13
When we are young we are in a terrible hurry. I remember wanted so bad to be grown up, to set my own rules and to be under no one's authority Now, fully an adult, a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grand mother and bishop - I know how hard it is to have enough time for all the tasks that need doing as well as being present for all the people who need loving. We can spend our lives rushing, or we can live with patience knowing in the fullness of time, we will get where we need to go.
Jesus was urged by his brothers to go to the festival. Jesus knew the city was dangerous for him and waited to go there alone, to watch, and to wait. A day would come when there would be drama and betrayal aplenty. He knew it was not that time but he also wanted to better understand the people and the religious authorities. He knew only too soon he would be offering his life for these self same people. Patience is a gift from God, and knowing our time and place is a blessing.
Today I ask God for an extra measure of patience. May we all be prayerful and patient, knowing God is directing every drama in our lives. May we listen and learn as we go forth where we are sent, to serve God in our local mission fields.