Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Mystery on the Other Side of the Door

John 14 - Jesus is talking with the disciples about his imminent departure. He tells them his Father’s house has many rooms and he’s going there to make the rooms ready for them. He tells them if he’s going to do that then that means he’s coming back for them. Then comes the thing that throws them for a loop. He says, “…You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Good old Thomas pops up and says, “No! We don’t know where you’re going or how to get there!”
How is it possible that they didn’t know that Jesus, the Rabbi, their Teacher, their closest friend was the way to get there? It sounds like Jesus thought they should have known.
What do you think? Do you understand what Jesus was saying? If you do would you mind sharing your insights with us? What are these rooms Jesus is talking about? Where are they?  What’s he doing there to prepare them for us? Are you sure there’s enough room for me? When do I get to go there? Do these questions run around your mind like they do mine?
How come it’s still a mystery to us what’s on the other side of the door? Do we really need to know any more than what Jesus said? He’s preparing rooms for us and there’s plenty of rooms for everyone.
That should be enough since in the very first sentence we heard in the gospel lesson this morning said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
But we want to know what our rooms are going to be like. Will we have to share a room? Will I have to keep it clean and neat since it’s in the Father’s house?
These are the questions that popped into my head and then I wondered why I thought these were important questions.
After we get past the fact that Jesus himself is getting things ready for us we discover that the only way to get there is through Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. We can’t get there without going through Jesus.
So, how do we get through Jesus? I think we get there by ‘believing.’  Philip wanted Jesus to show him the Father then he’d believe.  Like that would make it easier.
Jesus said that if he knew him then he knew the Father. Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in him. How’s that work?
The Father and Jesus are in such an intimate relationship that they are One, the Holy.  Maybe, and this may be a stretch, they’re like a couple that’s been happily married for 60 years. They’ve been together for so long that they begin to think and talk and act like each other. In fact, they even know what the other one is thinking and that’s kind of scary.
If we have trouble believing that then Jesus said believe what we see, believe the evidence surrounding the miracles we’ve seen. We have seen some miracles haven’t we?
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and the only way to get to those rooms is by believing in Him, and the Father. Faith, believing, trusting in Jesus, trusting in God is all we need. If we have faith we can do even greater things than Jesus did. If we have faith, and ask, Jesus will answer so He can bring glory to his Father.
That sounds almost too simple doesn’t it? But that’s what John said that Jesus said. John wouldn’t tell us a story, would he?
So, now you want to know, just like Philip and Thomas, “How can I be sure, how can I find the ‘way?’”
I believe we can find peace and the answer to these questions by allowing ourselves time to be with God. We need to be in an intimate relationship with God through Jesus if we’re ever going to learn anything about these rooms and how we’re all going to get there.
That means that we actually have to carve out time for reading, study, prayer, and silent time with God. This takes discipline.
It’s a little like committing to losing weight and beginning to live a healthier life style through exercise and eating healthier. The thought, the desire has to become a passion before it becomes part of our lives.
Trust, faith, and discipline are three things we need to build this relationship with God. Every day we put it off just makes it harder to start.
If we believe Jesus really is the way, the truth, and the life then why do we make it so difficult to begin?
We need the quiet time, so we can hear God’s voice. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”  Before we can hear we need to be listening, we need to be tuned in, we need time alone with God. We need it so we can begin to believe.
My friends, God loves you. He desires a relationship with you…and me. There’s a room waiting for us…if we trust…if we believe…if we ask. It’s just over there on the other side of the door.
Thanks be to God for his loving grace. Amen.