What is to Come

By Karen Treat

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe[a] in God, believe also in me. 2 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?  John 14:1-2

This is Jesus at his most tender, most compassionate, because he knows just what is to come -- for him and for them.  Jesus is soon going to die.  It is his time. 

Jesus gives these words to his disciples because he knows this will be what they need.  What we will need one day.  After he is gone from earth.  They will need a promise and a hope. 

Jesus says goodbye with tenderness and truthfulness.

My son is going to college this coming fall.  I am already anticipating the good-bye.  I know it will be much different from how I say good-bye to him as he leaves for high school each morning.  The silly hugs that teenage sons give their mothers will be different this coming August.  I imagine I will cling to him when he leaves for his dorm room.   I don’t think it will be easy. 

And, I imagine as I did with my son’s older sisters, I will give all the loving advice I can give before we separate.   It is what we do when we leave the ones we love, no matter what the time apart is planned.  We give our love.  As Jesus did for his disciples.

My mother in died in February of this year.  Health failing, there came a question if hospice was the next step or would she like to go to the hospital to try to remedy the newest regression.  

After the question was posed, “do you want to go on hospice or go to the hospital?”   My mother looked at me and said she wasn’t ready to not see us anymore.  That is what she said.  “I am not ready to not see you”.  I am not ready to say good-bye.  To the hospital we went.

Thankfully we had a couple more days to watch TV, chatter, laugh, eat together and remember her life.   There was no formal good-bye but an understanding that her time with us here on earth was coming to a close. 

The scripture above is a common one heard at funerals.  It brings me and all of us a lot of peace knowing that Jesus has prepared a place for us after our time here on earth is completed.  A dwelling place. 

Many of us are remembering our loved ones that have passed.  It is the changing of the seasons, the Mother’s and Father’s Days.  Memorial Day just upon us.  A tender time, at least in moments. 

Jesus spends this time to say “good-bye”, preparing the disciples for a time they would not see him anymore.  He gives them a hope and a permission to live. 

That’s the thing about goodbyes. They are never really goodbyes.  There is the hope for more.  We see it here with Jesus Christ.

We are coming to the end of the season of Easter and we know about the resurrection.  We know that Jesus has defeated death and given us the hope of the world to come.   And, he has given the visual that he has prepared a place to dwell for our loved ones and for us as well. 

It is believing in the words of Jesus Christ, believing in God who lives in and through Jesus Christ, we are lifted up and set forward.  As Jesus has given to the disciples, knowing their pain that is ahead, we too live in hope and believe in the one that gives rest to our troubled hearts. 

Blessings,

Pastor Karen Treat, Pastor/Chaplain to McKenna Crossings