1 Pt 2:4-9
A few years ago I was asked to do a funeral/celebration of life worship service for a patient. She was an amazing woman who others would describe as dynamic, an activist, faith filled and very human. Her family said that others saw her as an amazing woman who was a fine prism for God’s light to shine through. The hard thing about the story of this amazing woman is that she never saw herself as good enough. Never was able to acknowledge the vehicle she was for God’s presence in the here and now.
As we talked about the patient’s death and God calling her home to “that place” prepared for her, the family thought for the first time their mother would know the full love of God. Her doubts would be dismissed for good and she would know that she was filled with God’s light. This for them was very comforting. When we chose the reading from John 14:1-4 the family was appreciative of the surety of its message.
In this gospel reading from John 14:1-14, Jesus addresses his disciples’ fear about what is going to happen next, what could they count on, and once again tells his disciples to trust that there is no need to fear or worry about the next place.
Like the disciples and my patient it is easy to be afraid and unsure of what is around the corner. It is easy to question whether we are “good enough” to be counted as one that Jesus goes to prepare a place for or ready enough to experience the full grace and power of the Holy Spirit. For many it is easier to claim who we aren’t rather than who we are.
As we reflect on the gospel for April 20th let us expand the invitation of Jesus as not being limited until we die. Let us embrace our call as Christians to be in the fullness of that presence now, let us live in the Kingdom that is at hand. Empowered by the Holy Spirit to be embraced by a loving God, who has no need to wait until this life is over in order for us to be filled by His love and welcomed home.
My patient’s family was grateful that their mom would know that God’s complete love in a way that her personal view of not being “good enough” seem to keep her from experiencing that full love in this life.
Let us dare to live and breathe today the assuring words of Jesus that he has prepared a place for us. Here and now, let us not wait for the next place in order to know the fullness of that joy!