Holy Week Devotional: A Room Prepared
John 14:1–7 (ESV) 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” I love how Jesus has gone into heaven to prepare a place for us. One of the anxieties that comes with financial insecurity is housing. Will we have a roof over our heads if we lose all our income and dry up our savings? Next to food and clothing, shelter is the most basic of human needs. The disciples that Jesus was trying to reassure on the eve of his crucifixion would experience severe trials in the days ahead. They would face persecution, jail, displacement, and even homelessness at times. For them, it might have felt like they have no place in this world. And so Jesus reassures them that even if they do not have a secure place in this world, they are not homeless, and they are not lost. They will have a room in their heavenly Father’s house, and they know the way there, because Jesus is the way. One of the great things about having a loving family is having a home to return to. In college, it always felt great to be on break and come home. I had my own room waiting for me, not the institutional double room I shared with a roommate in college. I had the familiar and secure feeling that I had a place, and though I moved every single year of my life from the age of 18 to 29, I still had somewhere I could return to if I needed to, my parent’s home. This security allowed me to take risks and travel far. In this life, we are not guaranteed a roof over our heads. I think about our homeless brothers and sisters and I cannot imagine what hardships they endure. Especially when it is raining and cold, I wish I could house them all. I think this is the heart of God for all of us. And this is the heart he wants us to have toward one another. Something I am learning from the present pandemic is the need to be prepared. We need to be prepared for emergencies. We need to have three to six month’s worth of expenses saved up. We need to not just live for today, for the good times, but be ready for the bad times as well. And we need to prepare not just for ourselves, not just for our families, but for others who might be facing hardships in the future. Because who knows? We may one day face a personal or family crisis that overwhelms all of our resources. It will be good to know then that we are part of a church community where people have prepared themselves to help those in need. So do not be troubled. Take heart. Jesus has prepared a place for each of us who trust in him. And he is the way. We are not lost. Let us trust in Jesus Christ through the present crisis. And let us be committed to preparing for an unknown future, not simply living for ourselves and for today, but preparing places and resources for others to come and experience security and belonging.
Father God, it is wonderful to know that we have a room in your house waiting for us. It helps us to live this present life with confidence. We pray that you would set our troubled hearts at peace. And help us to prepare places for others, as Jesus Christ has done for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.