My wife, Hayley, was having a conversation with a friend about preparing a room for our baby’s impending arrival. It seems to be common practice that parents, particularly the mother, like to “nest”. They like to get the baby’s bedroom ready for its arrival home. They might replace the curtains, or put pictures up on the wall. Some people even paint the walls a new colour! Parents want the room to be just right before the arrival of the baby.
In recounting the conversation about this, Hayley stated that she drew a parallel with one of Jesus statements. And it is a striking one.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may also be.
The quote is from John 14:1-3. Jesus comforts his disciples with the knowledge that when he departs he will be preparing a place for them; a room will be made for them to dwell in. Not only that, but where that room is, Jesus will also be. He will take us to dwell with him.
I have often found this a comforting statement, but find it difficult to imagine what it all looks like. If the room is in Heaven, or in the New Creation, then will there be houses? One big house? Will we be sharing a room with other people? Will Jesus be in every room?
Have you ever wondered why we build dwellings? Sure, it’s practical and they help us avoid the elements. In many cultures, our dwelling is our home. It is the place we belong. We build homes, I believe, because we long to be exactly where we’re supposed to be. We long to belong somewhere. Because of this, we construct dwellings in places we wish to settle. They are our homes.
Jesus says that God the Father has a house; and in that house there are rooms for his children. Jesus died, resurrected from the grave, and ascended to heaven, and there he is preparing a room for you, and everyone else who belongs to him. Like the expectant mother who prepares the nursery for her new child, Jesus prepares a room for his children. The love and care which the mother might show in preparing a baby’s room in this earthly home is a glimpse, however faint, of the care that Jesus is taking in his preparation of our room, the room where we can finally be at rest in the eternal kingdom of God. It is there that we will finally be home.
Picture credit: DanJackson_UK, some rights reserved