Ever reserve a hotel room and ask for early check-in? Usually, your hotel room is available to you after 3 pm. If you need it at noon, just ask. Often, they will accommodate you. Jesus says, “In my father’s house there are many mansions (KJV) or rooms. I go to prepare a place for you.” We tend to read this as an assurance that after we die, there will be a place for us in heaven. Jesus says this during his intimate last supper with the twelve disciples – actually, it’s eleven because Judas has gone to betray him. Did he reserve a room for Judas? I think he did, but that’s not the point. The point is Jesus making space for us to have an intimate encounter with God. That room is available for you right now.
In this time of social distancing, many of us are anxious. We worry about whether we will be able to stay sane as we await the ability to leave our separate little apartments. Our world has become too limited for us. Yet in our spiritual house, there are many mansions. Yes, your spiritual room is available for early check-in. Now is the time to add a period of quiet listening to our daily prayer time. If it helps, pull up an empty chair opposite yours. Imagine Jesus sitting there. Now, quiet yourself and simply listen for a few minutes. Breathe. Imagine the room Jesus has prepared for you.
We also worry about the post-lockdown world. Will we still have a job? What about our church? Will we be able to reconnect with those we haven’t been able to see over these weeks? I think that the person we will be then is being shaped by who we choose to be now, while we are alone. What we carry with us when we leave our room, is up to us. But for now, our spiritual space has been prepared. Ready for you when you need it.