Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on June 6, 2014.
Prayer: Dear God, help us remember Jesus' promise about our place in heaven. Remind us, especially when a loved one dies, that we do not need to be worried and upset; we should not let our hearts be troubled because your house has many rooms and your son is preparing a place for each of us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Reading: John 14: 1-4 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: What do you think heaven will be like? How does it make you feel to know that there is a place for us in heaven?
Reflection: I first became overly familiar with this passage while preparing for my brother's funeral. He died in April 2014 when he was 39 years old. In my grief and confusion, I asked the pastor over and over again, “Where is my brother now that he is no longer here with us?” I was patiently reminded, over and over again, that Jesus said, “There are many rooms in my Father's house....And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am.”
I think about my “little” brother all the time and as I work through the grief of his passing, I sometimes console myself by imagining him up in heaven together with all our loved ones who have already died. I remember that Jesus told his friends--and by extension me and you--that we should not let our hearts be troubled. He's preparing a place for us. And we will be where He is. --Christine Conz Moll
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