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
Yesterday spent a good deal of time in the emergency room because of severe back pain. Last night, I heard that a dear friend and mentor lay dying. Being human means we find ourselves in times where we feel helpless and have to wait on the timing of others, the timing of God. None of us likes waiting, being still and silent in the midst of pain and death. And pain and death, along with waiting, are so real parts of living. We have days when we can ignore our need and dependence. And we have other days where we see the reality of our lives. Dependence, waiting and praying are part of our intaking of breath and exhaling. Sometimes we can delude ourselves.
Jesus is counseled by his brothers to get away from the festivities and go back and do his miracle thing with his disciples. Their own brother made them uncomfortable, maybe even embarrassed. They did not want to be seen with him and had some anxiety about their own lives if they did. They wanted control and safety. Jesus knew that true life is neither safety or control. He knew he had to live for God and serve others. Fearing the consequences was something he could not worry about. Nor can we. God invites us today to live in the messiness of real life, living in the midst of pain and death, always looking to serve God and others.
Today I ask God to help me live fully into the life I have been given, not fearing the consequences,n or trying to control the days, but rather trusting that God has all time and all our those we love in the loving divine arms. May we recognize that our daily uncertainties and pain as ways to live fully while cared for, in every breath, by our loving Creator.