Grace and Peace to you.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
We usually think Jesus is talking about the afterlife here. But Jesus is always much more interested in how to live than how to be dead. If “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (not my death), then maybe “my Father’s house” is in this life, not just the next. Maybe Jesus is promising that God has prepared a place for you in this world. Despite all your troubles, despite the times when you feel that you don’t belong or that you’re not safe, you are in the right place. God wants you here.
Jesus goes before you into your life and all of its challenges and prepares a place. You belong here; you are part of God’s family. In your troubles and suffering, though you feel like you’re all alone and there’s no rest, Jesus has gone before you in suffering, and accompanies you there, and makes room for you there. As you speak prophetically and work for reconciliation and justice, the world resists, and wants you to feel like an outsider. But you are where God wants you. The world may tell you there is no place for you. But you have your own room here. You are in God’s embracing presence. You don’t live in a dangerous, lonely world. You’re not a stranger in a strange land. You live in God’s own house. You are wanted here. You have your very own room.
Be at home here. Take courage. Live in trust that God gives you a home in this life. Then entering the life to come will not merely be an escape, but even more profoundly a welcome homecoming.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes