Big House


This morning I am nearing the end of the gospel of John in my annual read through of Scripture. 

I will say, and if you have ever read through the entire Bible you know this to be true, there are portions…many portions that are slower to read and some are hard to navigate. But there is something about John’s writings that is refreshing and like an oasis as I progress through his narratives of Jesus. 

This morning as I was reading in Chapters 14 – 18, I took my time and thought how I want to revisit these passages and read them several more times. So it occurred to me that we might just finish up the month of September with some gleanings from my time in these verses. 

I guess we could call it a series, but I am not sure it will have a theme or specific lessons. This will just be thoughts as I read and ponder some of the passages. 

So for today, here is the portion of Scripture I am focusing on:

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.”

John 14: 1-3, CSB

As I read through that a few times, I made the following notes:

I am always struck by the knowledge that apparently I have authority over my heart. I can allow it or forbid it to be troubled. It is a choice. Which is going to rule my heart: my troubles or my belief in God? Jesus said –  you trust God, right? So you can trust Me. 

As I read that, I say that yes, I do trust God and I know that, in my life, He has always been faithful. I trust God and I trust Jesus. I don’t always understand what He is doing. I don’t always like how it is going, but I trust Him to be good, kind, just, faithful, merciful and kind. 

The disciples must have had every reason to trust Jesus, or they would not have trusted Him to this point. They often didn’t understand. They sometimes didn’t like what He was saying, but they trusted Him. 

And so when He tells them that He is going ahead of them to a place they cannot yet go to and that He is preparing a place for them and He will come back for them, they must trust Him based on all they have known of Him to that point. 

When I read the part about going to prepare a room for them in the Father’s house, I hear the song from our own kids’ youth group days. Audio Adrenaline would be belting out over the PA system as we gathered for Sunday night or Wednesday night youth events. 

A catchy tune with great lyrics called out to young and old to come and go to the Father’s house. It created such an inviting and celebratory tone. 

If you had a child in youth in the mid through late 90’s, you probably already have the song thumping in your head…

It’s a big big house

With lost and lots of room

A big big table

With lots and lots of food

A big big yard

Where we can play football

A big big house

It’s my Father’s house

Big House, Audio Adrenaline 1993

The image that always came to mind and still does is a family gathering for Thanksgiving. 

I guess it’s the football playing in the yard and the big table filled with food. It’s also the time of year where we invite others; maybe friends who don’t have anywhere to go or new significant others or neighbors or strays or whatever. 

And I think of that image of joy as many are invited, and food and rooms are prepared. 

I think how you wouldn’t extend an invitation unless you meant it and were planning to follow through with the planning and the actual gathering. You think about your guests and how you can feed them and make room for them and welcome them and celebrate with them. 

And I think how faulty and flawed we are, but we wouldn’t fail in doing what we said we would do when we invited people into our homes. 

So how much more will Jesus succeed in following through with His invitation. 

His work following ascension has been to prepare for us to come  and be with Him. And to prepare us to go. 

He is making a place for us and getting us ready to go to that place. 

And it is a big place, with lots of room for all to come. It is filled with Joy and fellowship and community and His presence. 

So think about that today. When your heart is tempted to be troubled, remember this invitation that is in process for you. 

And if, as you go about your chores and work, Audio Adrenaline played on a loop in your head, you are welcome.

See you tomorrow <3

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