“Do not let your hearts be troubled” Jesus says, like it’s easy. Jesus covers a lot of ground in John 14:1-14. Jesus is here trying to set our poor human hearts at ease. Telling us that we do not need to fear, because not only is there enough room in heaven for everyone, but that Jesus is preparing a place, and a way ahead of us. Jesus is making the way clear for us.
What way is Jesus clearing for us today? How is Jesus making room in the house for us? What things in our lives are being decluttered so there is more room for heaven, the kingdom work, and God’s blessings. This makes sense, because God, after all first made room in Godself to create us.Here Jesus is doing the same thing again, making room for our humanity in heaven, and then inversely, making room for God in our lives. Jesus is Marie Kondo-ing the world, both heaven and earth.
Jesus also says that God dwells in the amazing works Jesus does, and will dwell even within our own works. What works are we doing, even now, especially now, in crises that God dwells in?
It’s even more than that, though. Jesus is making room for our needs as well. Here is the passage where Jesus says anything we ask in his name, we will be given it. This is the very reason why it is custom to end any and all prayers in Jesus’s name.
Then Psalm 35 extols on God’s steadfastness, on God as a refuge. The mighty hiding place. What kind of God do we have, who understands that we need a hiding place. For some the church is a refuge from the everyday-ness of life. Part of what is difficult about this pandemic is that we have lost our hiding places–we feel exposed, unsafe, and alone.
1 Peter 2 discusses us as the building blocks of the church, a comfort in a time when most of us are not able to access our buildings. We are weaned upon God’s milk (perhaps love). We have tasted God, and know that he is good. How have we tased God? How do we recall that taste when things feel bitter? If we are the children of God how might God’s milk reflect upon mother’s day?
Acts 7:55-60 is a stark portrayal of the martyrdom of Stephen. Foreshadowing of Saul is thrown in, making this short story hugely impactful. Stephen is filled with the vision of Jesus, looking toward the kingdom and almost unaware of the world. A heavy text in a time where many saints are going to heaven, where an entire generation of wisdom is in danger, to celebrate faith and pray does not solve the issues but it’s a way to do the works. Do we see similar works today?
Where are the texts of Easter–these visions of God and/or the apostles of Jesus–leading you this week? In light of the current world crises, how can it be Easter? In light of the martyrdom and persecution of the disciples, is it really Easter? Let us know where the Holy Spirit is leading you this week.
Katy Stenta is a solo pastor at a tiny church that is bigger on the inside in Albany, NY for over eight years and blogs at email@example.com She is also the co-founder of the fledgling TrailPraisers inclusive Worship. When she is not dreaming up projects and ideas, some of which creep into the church, she plays with her three boys-boys or goes and visits her husband at the library, while he works, to read.
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