“A pregnant moment,” “a pregnant pause” is described as a long pause or silence in action or speech indicating a lot of meaning or significance is to follow and the pause builds suspense. In our text for worship tomorrow there seems to be three pregnant moments where action is suspended and I, as the reader, ponder what led to what follows. Jesus hears that a corrupt politician has beheaded his cousin, John the Baptist, in a cruel social move. Can you imagine the riots that would erupt today as we have seen in our current social debate about justice? All over the US people are demonstrating against injustice. What will Jesus do? He has all power and all knowledge. It is shocking that he “withdraws” to a boat – to grieve, to process the situation, to reunite his core with the Trinity in the face of human wrongs? I wonder. The first place he went was not rage.
He gets out of the boat to face thousands of people who have come to him at the end of their resources – heal me! Teach me! Care about me! A pregnant moment. He does not claim exhaustion and discouragement but has compassion. That says something. His distancing was not disconnection. Later the disciples realize the masses and they are resource-less. “What shall we do?” they ask Jesus. Another pregnant moment in the plea for help. Helpless, hopeless people are told to sit. I have pondered what comes next. Jesus “looks to heaven.” He did not just do his thing. He paused. Faced with tragedy and violence, faced with need and hunger, faced with so many demands, Jesus paused.
It is a bit difficult to say that Jesus made God his first priority as we ponder that theme this month but I believe it is noteworthy that there is a pause between the abject needs we face and the resolutions we experience. “Reaction” does not seem to describe Jesus’ responses. I do not believe Jesus looked to heaven for show, to remind us to pray or to give time for the crowd to settle down. In the face of life, Jesus did not just react but takes time to reason and respond, to make God’s way his first priority. As we face the challenges of today, may we take that moment to bring the situation to God before we respond. See you tomorrow!