A Place for You

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
-John 14:1-4

That home with Jesus is one of the most important promises of the Resurrection.  Before Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried, he told the disciples that he would come back to them.  In the fear of losing their own lives, they struggled to believe that it was even possible for Jesus to come back.  On Resurrection Day, they remained confused and conflicted over what had actually taken place.  But Jesus had prepared them ahead of time.  He told them they would know the way and that there was a place for them with him forever.  It can be difficult to believe the promises of God when our hearts are clouded with pain.

This week we celebrate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday.  I encourage you to spend time in prayer for our nation, for the world, for our community and for our church.  The problems of this world can seem overwhelming and impossible to address… war, hunger, abuse, neglect, poverty.  Jesus reminds us that this world is not our home.  Even when it seems hopeless in this world, remember that there is a place he is preparing for us.

Revelation 21:1-4 says: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

We proclaim you the source of every blessing, O God. We say that your breath is life and your word is nourishment. And yet so often we try to live by bread alone, while our Bibles gather dust on a shelf. Forgive us when we confine your voice to pages that can be shut and forgotten.

We confess that we come to your word seeking light for our own paths, instead of yours. Forgive us when we use your word to justify our own desires, to comfort ourselves while shutting others out, to tear down hearts in order to build up our egos.

Teach us again to hear you through old stories and surprising voices, word written and word lived, and to live by every word you speak.  Amen.

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