Friday, July 30, 2010

A Wedding and a Funeral

From my Sunday School lesson for this weekend, using Max Lucado's Fearless book as curriculum. The chapter concerns our fear of death...

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. 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, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going. John 14:1-4

It may seem strange, but Jesus is using wedding imagery to describe life after death. When a couple was betrothed, the groom would go to his father's house and prepare a home for the new couple, then he would return and claim in wife.

Why would Jesus use wedding imagery to describe death? What do a funeral and a wedding have in common?

Think about the idea of many mansions – many dwelling places. And think of the man - Jesus - who is telling us about it. William Barclay, in his writings about this passage, talks about houses on earth that are too crowded for everyone. I imagine that Jesus has heard the story from his mother about the night he was born – when there was no room at the inn. In the light of that thought, what does this passage say to us? Can it be that heaven is a place where there is room for all? Barclay says, “Heaven is as wide as the heart of God and there is room for all. Jesus is saying to his friends, ‘Don’t be afraid. In this world, people may shut their doors upon you. But in heaven you will never be shut out.’”

Image: Alaska, 2nd day of cruise.

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