– Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter –
‘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 you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ [John 14:1-6]
This is one of those scriptures I am really challenged by. So much of the Gospels is Jesus throwing open his arms and his heart to those who were usually shut out. He challenged the assumption that only those who met a certain criteria were worthy to know God. Yet when I read the words from today’s gospel reading ‘No one comes to the Father except through me,’ I get the image of Jesus standing in front of a closed door with his arms crossed, like a security guard at an exclusive club – you’re not getting in unless your name is on the list.
But that does not sound like our Lord, that doesn’t sound like the one who laid hands on the lepers, spoke kindness to the outcasts, the one who washed the feet of his friends. So what do we do when we’re challenged by scriptures like this one and feeling uncertain about what God is asking. We believe in him. That’s exactly what he asked of us in this scripture, ‘Don’t be troubled…believe in me.’
Jesus has prepared a place for us so that where he is, we can be also. Yes, the way is narrow and we can only come to the Father through Jesus, but the invitation is so broad. Nobody is excluded, nobody is seen as unworthy. That ‘list’ has the name of every one of his children – a place has been made for all of us. Believe in him.
by Nattasha Mierendorf