August 29, 2013

Room for everyone

In a small Alberta town near our family farm, there were more than eight churches, literally one on each corner. We often made jokes about this, but later I realized that if every person in that town went to church, there would not be enough space to accommodate them.

This will not be a problem in heaven. While I have no idea what it will look like, I do know that Jesus will be there, there is no need for the sun for His light will illuminate it, we will not need buildings of worship, and there will be a place for everyone. Jesus said so…

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)

Some Bibles translate “many rooms” as “mansions,” suggesting a place that is bigger and better than anything we live in here. That is possible, but the Greek word used means “dwelling” or “abiding place.”

Later in the verse, it says Jesus is preparing a place for His people. That little word “place” adds something interesting. This word could be translated “opportunity.”

What does Jesus have in mind? I don’t know, but this is exciting. I do know that heaven will be grand because Jesus is involved in its preparation. I could be a place of opportunity, suggesting to me that in heaven, each person will enjoy life to the full, having greater occasion to live as God intended, something we cannot do here because of our own sin and the sins of others.

The disciples were sad that Jesus was going to leave them. I wonder what they were thinking when He explained what He would be doing before they joined Him. Typical of Peter, he wanted to go with Jesus right then, but Jesus said he could come later. (John 13:36)

For me, I hear the same word, later. Some days I long to leave this dwelling place and be in the one that Jesus is preparing. Yet He says later, perhaps because that place is still being made ready. Whatever the reason, I need to make the very best of this place where I am, using it to serve and glorify the One who is most interested in where I live when I leave here. I also need to tell others about these many, many rooms which means there is room for everyone, and all people need to know they can be included.

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