Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” (John 16:16)
With hand raised and back straight, the recruit begins to: “solemnly swear I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies…”
That step not only granted the former civilian some new clothes to wear, it ushered in an entirely new way of life. Gone were the carefree days of high school; living under the roof of parents; and wondering what fun thing to do next. Suddenly life was filled with shouts of commands, strange living arrangements, and wondering what stressful demand would come next. What used to be normal was no more.
The first blasting strains of reveille woke the person up to a new normal. The message was, “Get used to it!” The wife who comes back from the ER with only her husband’s wallet; the child who is told, “Daddy went to heaven;” and the victim of post-traumatic stress whose mind keeps replaying a dreadful tape—these, too will learn that life will never go back to normal. They are facing a new normal—and they need to get used to it. But it will not be easy.
The post-Easter disciples suddenly found themselves in a new, spinning world with little to grab onto. For some three years they had lived alongside of Jesus. They had been taught by him, warned by him, and comforted by him. They had seen miracles. They could see his face most every day. Now they could not.
After he returned to heaven, they could see him no more. They needed to get used to it. That would not be easy. To prepare them for the new normal Jesus had told them what to expect. “In a little while you will see me no more…”
His death was not a failure, it was according to plan. So was his resurrection. They would see him later. So will we.
Imagine waking up to pure beauty and glory. Envision what life would be like with nothing going wrong. Picture us joining those first disciples in visiting with Jesus. Imagine living in heaven. What a change! What an experience! What a joy! “…and then after a little while you will see me.”
That is the new normal we are waiting for.
We pray: Lord Jesus, our eyes have not seen you face-to-face as did your early disciples. Our eyes of faith look at you through their eyes as they tell us what they saw and heard. We look forward to seeing you as we join them with you in glory. Until then, keep us safe. Keep us faithful. Bring us home. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military