These days, we find ourselves in the middle of a section of John’s Gospel that leads up to the arrest and death of Jesus. But we’re not quite there yet, and if you’ve been following along these last few days as we’ve been hearing the story unfold, you can see that there’s a lot of confusion out there. The religious leaders are absolutely certain that Jesus is not only not the Christ, but also an imposter deserving of death. But the people aren’t so sure. They are hearing his words and seeing his deeds and realizing that there is something more to him than the religious leaders are prepared to acknowledge. The religious leaders can’t even arrest him yet, because the people are so convinced of his message that they fear the people will revolt if they lay hands on him.
But we may find ourselves on the edge of our seats, breathless at what is happening. It’s kind of like a movie that we’ve seen before: we know the way it will end, and we are in great anticipation of what is about to unfold. We know what will ultimately happen to him, and we know of the ultimate victory that will be his, and ours by grace. But we must wait for his hour to come and the fullness of God’s plan to be revealed.
We are on the downhill side of Lent right now. Have we been caught up in the story? Are we breathless in anticipation for Holy Week and Easter? In these last couple of weeks, it may be good for us to quiet ourselves and let God catch us up in the story as it unfolds. If Lent hasn’t been all you planned on it being: if you’ve perhaps neglected the fasting, almsgiving and prayer you planned to do, know that it is not too late to pick it back up again and let God catch you up in the story. It is never too late for God’s grace.
At the end of today’s Gospel, we are told that “each went to his own house.” My read of that says that included both the religious authorities and the people. As they went to their own house, they had to sort out the Jesus phenomenon and figure out what it meant for them. As we go forth to our own houses this day, may we take that same opportunity and let God catch us up in the story of his amazing grace.