READ : John 14:1-14
. . . so that where I am, there you may be also. (v. 3)
“I believe . . . in the life everlasting.” Praise God, the ugly pock mark in the ground called a grave is not the end for us. For faithful followers of Jesus Christ there is something eternally better. This is precisely what Jesus meant when he said to his frightened and heavy-hearted disciples, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself . . .” (v. 4).
Even though I have been a professor on a seminary faculty for the last 13 years, I am still asked with some regularity if I miss being a pastor. My answer is almost always the same, “No, I don’t, with one exception. I miss ministering to the terminally ill.”
To stand by followers of Jesus as they take their last breath on earth and their first breath in heaven is to stand on holy ground. Why? Because it is at the precise moment of death that the towering hope of our creed turns to reality in our lives. Philips Brooks, the great American hymn writer and preacher, was fond of saying, “I can preach like a lion when I see the saints die!” I know what he means because Jesus has taught me to say, “I believe . . . in the life everlasting.”
For the place prepared for us we bless you, O God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.