“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?”-John 14:2
The disciples were filled with confusion and fear. These restless young men had made a life with him. He was their stabilizing force and their solid rock. In response to their disorientation, Jesus offered a calming presence. After telling them not to be afraid, he said that his Father’s house is filled with many rooms. He wanted him to know that they would always have a place with him.
As a child, I remember hearing this verse and thinking that Jesus and the Father lived in a huge mansion and I wondered where it was located. I focused on the incidentals rather than the main thing. What does the mansion look like? How big will my room be? Will I have to share my room? How far down the hall will God be? How about my friends and family?
I still think a lot about incidentals. I wonder who will I meet in heaven and whether there will be bacon. Even as an adult, I miss the point. Heaven is not about what, but who, is there. In heaven, our greatest gift will be dwelling with the Trinity forever.
When Jesus told the disciples that his Father’s house had many rooms and that he was going to prepare a place, he wasn’t talking about making up the beds. He wanted them to feel secure in their belonging with him.
In the depth of our souls, many of us harbor fears that we don’t belong anywhere. We go through our lives wearing different masks, trying to cast the right image so that we might fit in, but just like the disciples, Jesus looks at each of us and says, “Don’t worry. You belong.”
Jesus, if I am honest, I fear rejection, abandonment, and having no place to call home. I fear not belonging. Help me to know the truth that one day, I will dwell with you in your kingdom and that right now, your Spirit dwells in me. Amen.