05-12-2020 John 14:1-14 Meditation Sermon
Many people are being uprooted from their homes these days. As incomes shrink and more and more become unemployed, home insecurity is on the rise. Foreclosure and the inability to pay rent have forced an untold many from their homes, who now depend on family, friends, organizations or the government for shelter. Some of us at one time or another have had no place to call home. Some are house secure but not at home because of divorce or violence. Mental health issues and addiction can make our lives such that our house is not a home. Sometime we have been housed but not at home. And we may at times feel like we’re strangers in a strange land.
Ever since Adam and Eve were kicked out of their home in paradise, the story of our faith is one of longing for and returning to home. Abraham and Sarah were nomads wandering their whole lives trusting in God’s promise of a permeant home. The early Kingdom of Israel wanted to find a home for the Ark of the Covenant, the traveling shrine of God’s presence. They finally made a home it to rest in the Temple. Their homes destroyed by the Babylonians and forced to live in a foreign land, the Exiles yearned for their return to Jerusalem. Jesus even said of himself, “Foxes have their holes and birds their nests, but I have no place to rest my head.” And for three years the disciples followed Jesus around the countryside, from village to village, knowing home was some place other than where they were.
Let me set the scene for the story from John 14:1-14. Jesus and his friends have settled in an upper room of a safe house to celebrate the Passover. He has just finished washing the disciples’ feet and sent Judas off on his mission of betrayal. He then tells the disciples he will be with them only a little while longer and then will be leaving for a place where they are not yet able to go. This was not good news to the disciples who had lived an itinerate and homeless life at Jesus’ side for the past three years. And then, in a great turn around, Jesus tells them, “don’t be worried. Believe in God, believe in me. There are many rooms in God’s house and I’m going to prepare a room for you.”
Imagine, in the midst of all their uncertainty, fear and doubt Jesus says there is a home waiting for them; a place safe and secure from all alarms, a place where you are accepted and embraced just as they are. Jesus tells them after he fixes up a room for them he will come back to get them and take them home, to his home, with the family of God.
“Besides,” he tells them, “you already know how to get there.” “We have no idea where you are going. How do you expect us to know the road?” asks Thomas. Jesus is going somewhere, and they don’t know where, so they want a map and directions. Jesus gives them the coordinates, a map and points them in the right direction: I am the road, the truth and the life.” Jesus tells them, “I am your home and my home is with God and I will show you how to get there.” In fact, because he’s going to prepare his home for them and if they believe this is true, they can be at home right now.
Jesus not only prepares a place for us, but brings us every moment into the household of God’s family where there is enough space and a place for everyone. If you believe there is a place and a family waiting for you, then you have a home wherever you are, whomever you are. God’s home transcends time and space. It is immediate, right now in this moment, right here in this place.
The journey of faith is always one of twists and turns, of discovery. It is one of uncertainty, not knowing what lies beyond the curve in the road or beyond the next hill. The road-trip of faith is difficult at times but it follows a road upon which Jesus leads us, guides us, and is always with us. It’s strange. We’re on a journey that is taking us home, but we’er already, and always there. Let’s not be afraid, nor let our hearts be troubled. Jesus walks along with us through life’s faith journey. So, when we come to a fork in the road, let’s do like Yogi Berra, and take it. Amen.