WEEK THREE: JOY WITH THE RISING SUN
Radiant Vacancy Sign
John 14:1-3 (NRSV)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”
When I was a child, our family went on vacations quite often. But in the days before the internet, making hotel reservations in another city was not as easy. We would arrive at our destination for the night, and my parents would begin watching for vacancy signs at the local hotels. My siblings and I were always searching for the hotels with pools! We were disappointed a few times. After long hours in the car, we were eager to find a place to swim and relax. Joy was found in vacancy signs!
Even with the ease of internet reservations, we still have trouble finding rooms, don’t we? Busy schedules leave no room for relaxation or relationships. Hoped-for careers don’t have openings for us. A team or a club has no room for us because we don’t have the right skills or qualifications. Distractions and worries crowd into our thoughts, leaving no room for peace or presence. Even the internet, television and other technological gadgets crowd into any space for quiet solitude. According to the Gospel of Luke, even Mary and Joseph couldn’t find a room for the night Jesus was born!
Jesus speaks such comforting, reassuring words in John 14. There will always be a place for us. Even more, there will be a place that he will actual prepare for us! And Jesus will be with us, too. Isn’t it such a blessing, such a JOY to know that we have a guaranteed, prepared place in his company for all of eternity? There IS a vacancy for every one of us. In the meantime, let’s strive to make room for Jesus, in our hearts and in our homes and in our schedules.
Joy radiates because Jesus has made room for us- now and in eternity.