Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Living with Your Friends

Several years ago a particular speaker came to town. I had listened to tapes of his from an earlier conference and was really impacted. So I was excited to have the chance to hear him live. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) God used him to push practically all my buttons that weekend. One button pushing story in particular related how he loved going back home to England and having a great big meal with all of his closest friends. He said that he would sit back and watch his friends talking and laughing, and just be refreshed and joyful. Hearing this, I was incredibly jealous. I grew up in Massachusetts, went to college in Maryland, studied abroad in Israel, and now live in Washington State. Even if everyone I ever met never moved, there is still no way to get everyone who I would want in one room, in one room.

This morning, I read the following passage:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. 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, that where I am you may be also.”
John 14:1-3 ESV

Then I had one of those Aha! moments. Jesus wants all of His friends in one place, too! And His friends are seriously scattered! Jesus is busy preparing His Father’s house so that there is a room and a place for each individual friend. This won’t be like staying at the YMCA, with rooms full of bunk beds. He knows each of us intimately and has specific preparations tailored for each of us. The Lord of Hosts that He is, is preparing a comfortable place, where we’ll feel at home and be ourselves. He’s having all of us over to His Dad’s house and throwing a big party for all of His friends.

Going and visiting people is excellent. I’m planning a few trips right now. But I would always prefer to get my house ready and have people over. I love providing them with things to make them comfortable and welcome, and then hanging out. Jesus is coming again, and He is going to take us to Himself, so that where He is, we can be, too. This goes beyond and in addition to the Holy Spirit being with us always.

This just made me really excited. Jesus wants all of His friends in one place, too! And beyond just wanting it, He’s making it happen. That is very exciting!

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