May 8, 2020 (Friday) - End of the Race - A Reflection on John 14:1-6

“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.” 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.

Today’s reflection is specially for those who might be fighting for their lives at this moment in time because of Covid19, or any other illness that has placed them at death’s door. Our Lord Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27), but I know this is easier said than done. When you are staring death in the face, it is going to be very hard not to have a heart that is troubled and a spirit that is afraid.  

Because, on the one hand, we are looking backwards, at all the things that took place in our life, things you did, things that were done to us, and realizing how most of it was so bad, so painful. And there is the added sorrow about the wrong choices that we made, so many times. That brings so much regret. If we could only do it all over again, we think, we could make it right. But, of course, there is no more making anything right.

And, then, on the other hand, we are looking forward, and what we see there looks like a great abyss, a huge hole of darkness and we don’t know what it holds. Is this the end of everything? And, if it isn’t; if there is something after, then what is it? Will there be judgment awaiting us? Will we be tried and found guilty and sentenced to eternal damnation? I’d be very surprised if a person on his deathbed, didn’t think these thoughts.

So, what can I tell you that will bring you peace, put your mind at ease? I can’t really tell you anything. But I know somebody who can. He knows what’s in the past. He knows what’s in the future. He knows about heaven. He knows about hell. He knows about judgement. He knows how we can be safe. He knows everything. Because he is God. And he came to earth from his throne in heaven to tell us about everything. Well, at least some important stuff.

So, if we believe in what he tells us, then we really have nothing to be afraid of, no? He paid the price for our sins, so come Judgement Day we will be acquitted because the debt has already been paid. And we have his assurance in his word today that he has prepared a place for us in heaven. And he will come to take us there himself. And who is “he”? He is Jesus, savior of the world. All we need to do is repent and be baptized in him.

Now is the time to do this if you haven’t already. And, if you have been baptized and not truly repented, make your peace with him now. And make your peace with each other. I would like to take this opportunity to do this. I have already made my peace with God. I would like to make it with you. If I have hurt any of you, I am truly sorry. And to any of you who caused me pain, I forgive you.

I’d like to end with the words of Paul to Timothy that I hope all of us can when we approach the end. “I am being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7).

God bless you.