“My Father’s house has many rooms … I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
My grandfather, an immigrant from post-World War II Europe, prayed pretty much the same prayer every morning at break-fast. He prayed that we might be “pilgrims to the Father-house with many mansions” and that “we would have strength to bear.” These phrases seemed strange to me as a child, but they were based on an older version of the Bible, which translated today’s text as “In my Father’s house are many mansions…”
These verses are meant to provide great comfort for us. Jesus tells us that his Father has prepared a place for us: we are ex-pected guests. Though the older translation might make us think of grandiose buildings, we should not minimize the reality Jesus is promising to us. The “rooms,” or “living spaces,” are being prepared by God himself.
It seems clear also that Jesus is not simply talking about a dwelling that is being built for us sometime in the future. He speaks of going there, after his death and resurrection, to prepare a place for us.
This means that today we can have the joy of knowing that our living space is already prepared, even though we are still on the Christian pilgrim journey in this world. That gives us all the more reason to pray that God will make us joyful and faithful pilgrims!
Lord in heaven, thank you for preparing a place for us. We pray that we might be faithful pilgrims, never forgetting that you watch over our path. In Christ’s name, Amen.
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