In my Father's house

We often encourage ourselves with Jesus words in John 14. "In my Father's house are many rooms," (John 14:2). "Think of all those rooms," we say, "think of all the time the Father has taken to prepare a place for us. Won't it be grand?"

I think it will be grand, but I suspect looking forward to the architecture misses the main point. The other day I thought of John's words: "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." I more often anticipate who I'll meet in heaven rather than what the houses might be like. But surely, of all the people I might meet, the most fascinating, most awe inspiring one is God himself -- the one who has done and said so many things that the earth could not contain the books. And who continues to do awesome and wonderful things.

I went walking one evening, and felt caught up in wonder. I'm going to meet God. Surely that is the great and awesome thing to look forward to. The thing that will make the struggles and messes and confusion of this life pale in comparison. Yes, remember the promises. Remember the good news. God is with us and abides with us.

Update:  Our pastor preached on this passage yesterday. He says the common understanding of this verse as promising each of us our own mansion in heaven is a misunderstanding of the text. The image from the culture of Jesus' day is a large extended family all living in the same dwelling -- when a son or daughter gets married, they get a larger room in the big house for their growing family. It is one house, the Father's house, and Jesus prepares a room in it for each of us. So the focus in the text is on our relationship with God, coming home to the big house where we have our room..

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