With the baby boy’s expected arrival two weeks away, you can imagine our family is pregnant with anticipation. Just yesterday, the oldest boys moved to the previously unused back row of the van, making way for a carseat in the middle row. Judah thinks he and Ezra sit “basically in the trunk.” Emet remains in the middle row and plans to be the “baby manager” on the road.
While the boys look forward to filling the van, Andrea looks forward to emptying her womb! Baby has abided in her for 38 weeks, but the time has come for him to branch out, grow and come to maturity. He doesn’t have the option presented in a hilarious 1990’s Jim Carrey sketch comedy on In Living Color. There, Carrey plays a grown man still attached to his ever-present mother via the umbilical cord. He tries to assert his independence by crying out, “But Mom, I’m in my 73rd trimester!” She won’t let him go.
In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims “I am the Vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” To the sinner’s heart, Jesus comes across like an overbearing, all-consuming mother. Give me some space, Jesus! I can’t learn to walk unless you let go. To the heart of faith, Jesus gives himself to us, wholly and completely, such that when we learn to walk, he is our strength and guide. And when we fall, he is our comfort and stay.
Because we have been made children of God through baptism, everything we do is “in Christ.” Jesus has brought us into the perpetually pregnant God-Life. He will not let us go. The New Creation is coming, and the old creation – and we ourselves – are groaning in anticipation (Romans 8:22-23). This beautiful and battered life is but a pregnant pause before the glory to be revealed!