Jn 16:20-23 This Shouldn’t Be Happening
(Click here for readings)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and morn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”
I get it. I know what Jesus is saying. Unfortunately, there are things people say that I don’t get. For example, I have often heard people say, “This shouldn’t be happening in this day and age.” A few days ago, I stumbled on an article regarding a Protestant Pastor who is bi-sexual. He laments the fact that the other Pastors won’t join him in any Church sponsored events. The problem, to the Pastor’s disbelief, is his sexual orientation. Shocked, the Pastor sighed and said to a sympathetic congregation, “This shouldn’t be happening in this day and age.”
He’s right. This shouldn’t be happening, regardless of what day or age it is. But he’s wrong as to what shouldn’t be happening. First, as a Christian, he shouldn’t be sexually active if he is not married. Second, he shouldn’t be shocked if people still hold dear to them the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles. Third, he shouldn’t be shocked if people consider this behavior “unnatural”. After all, that's the way it's been considered for centuries and in every culture.
Now for the things that shouldn’t be happening in this day and age. For example, contraceptives shouldn’t be available to middle school kids. Teens shouldn’t be scared to death to go to school. Schools shouldn’t appear like Malls or jails. Students shouldn’t be the worst behaved they’ve been since the idea of schools began! You would think that after two hundred years of public education, our schools, with the latest and greatest technology and tools available, would be producing top students in droves, and that were second to none. But instead, for the most part, we are producing junk. And although the amount of money spent per child in high school has skyrocketed over the past twenty years, their test scores have remained flat over the same period of time. Nothing seems to work. Now, a gasoline company is trying to help with a catchy little phrase: “let’s solve this.” Notice how they wish to stay positive? They prefer to say, “Let’s solve this” rather than to say, “Let’s solve this problem”. That might be the problem. There shouldn’t be any PC nonsense in this day and age.
Last night, I got into a debate (I didn't start it.) in front of Tom Thumb with an atheist who ended our polite discussion with a very old and stale argument. He said, “Well, that’s all very nice, but we all know that Jesus never really existed.” I told this man, “Ah yes, interesting that YOU would say that. But what is even more interesting is that the Roman’s never said that. Nor did the Jews ever say that. Nor did the Christians ever say that. But, two thousand years later, someone like you came up with that.” This argument shouldn’t be happening in this day and age!
You will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
What’s the Lord saying? It’s been said that Saints are boring, while sinners know how to partyyy!!! It’s been said that Christians live with a noose around their neck, while pagans know how to loosen their tie. I only have one thing to say in response to this: “This shouldn’t be said in this day and age!” Not after all the tears, horror, premature deaths and weird diseases and syndromes these days and at every age.
We’ve forgotten something over the centuries. We’ve forgotten why we party. The reason why we party is because we have something to celebrate. In other words, we party because we’ve earned it; we’ve accomplished something.
Wedding nights were once true celebrations because couples earned their right to that very special night. Now, wedding nights are simple acknowledgments and repeat performances. Can we challenge our youth to greater heights? Can we speak about these things to them? I think we should. I know they deserve it. I know they appreciate it.
College grads can throw their caps into the air because they’re earned the right to celebrate. All their tears, all their sacrifices have earned them a spot at the party. Unfortunately, too many of our youth don’t get it, and too many adults never learned it. They never wept or mourned. Instead, they relaxed and enjoyed.
Parties prior to real accomplishments? Celebrations before achievements? Heroism before sacrifice? Joy before sweat and blood? “Atta boy” before marriage? This shouldn’t be happening at this day and age.
By now, we should be convinced that the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). There’s no honor in lies, in affairs, in infidelity, in drugs, in alcohol, and in gangs. There’s no glamour in sexting, STD’s, oral or anal cancer. We should know that by now. There’s no maturity in being “responsible” but really irresponsible; that is, wearing a condom and having sex at the age of thirteen. We shouldn't have elementary school kids worried about their weight, middle school kids worried about a date or teens worried about being good at sex! Ah, this shouldn’t be happening in this day and age.
Solution? If you choose to accept your mission…Start helping others to see the shallowness and superficiality of our culture today. Start promoting with your words and actions the Good News. Vote for politicians that believe and will defend the Good News. Start encouraging pastors to stand up to biblical truths. Start encouraging family members to go to Church and to pray. Start having friendly but serious conversations with neighbors and friends. Start doing some weeping, sweating, bleeding, mourning, sacrificing and dying (to oneself) so as to breathe some life into others. Start with the obvious. Get to work.
Then, I promise you, there will be plenty of time to party!