Today’s Scripture: John 14:1-11
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
All across this country conversations are being had about visiting home for the holidays. Going home, or having family come to us, is an important part of staying connected. And many of us enjoy the once-a-year reunions around the Thanksgiving or Christmas tables. But the virus is causing us to rethink gatherings this year. I’m sure these decisions are stressing a lot of families – maybe including yours. But more than just the stress of the decision (and the stress of different points of view in our families), there is the sadness of not being able to see each other as we have in the past. We miss each other.
At this point in the Gospel of John, Jesus’ disciples were starting to understand that he was about to leave them. They were upset about this to say the least. Being with Jesus had become an important part of their lives and now he’s leaving? They were starting to feel the pain of separation. And so, beginning here in chapter 14, we see Jesus’ attempt at reassurance.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled” he tells them. He also reminds them that he is not abandoning them but rather going to prepare a place for them. He basically tells them that he’ll leave the porch-light on so they will feel safe, welcome and will know the way.
Of course Thomas, even at this point the doubter, reminds Jesus that no, actually they don’t know the way. There is no map, no GPS, no instructions. So Jesus lays it all out: “I am the way.”
Jesus is talking here about how he is the way to God. But I also read this passage as Jesus saying “When you are lost – I am the way. When you are about to give up – I am the way. When you can’t make a decision – I am the way. When you feel like all hope is gone – I am the way.”
A lot of us are feeling lost these days. Making decisions about the Holidays is not helping. But these words from Jesus provide some comfort and direction. When we are lost and don’t know which way to turn – fall back on Jesus. He knows the way. He is the way.
God we thank you that you do not leave us abandoned and alone. When we feel lost remind us to connect with your son – because when we do so we are connecting with you. Give us peace and hope in these days of uncertainty. And help us to fall back on Jesus who is the way.