John 14:1-3 – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (NIV)
I was trying to cram my possessions into the one suitcase that my husband was certain would hold everything I needed while I was on vacation. It was then that I thought of another journey, the journey of life. Some of us may not take many trips away from our home, but there is one trip that we've all been assigned to take. In Scripture we are told how to prepare for this pilgrimage. It requires planning and, perhaps more importantly, it requires that we carry the correct "passport".
Contrary to popular belief, we don't just arrive at the pearly gates to be met by Saint Peter. God's Word tells us that God himself will check the Book of Life to see if our name is written there. Our "passport" to heaven needs to carry the seal of forgiveness made possible by Christ's death on the cross. This is the stamp that will allow us into his kingdom.
Unlike a vacation trip, we won't be able to take even one suitcase full of goods with us. What we will take is the memory of what we have done with our lives. Further to our preparation, is there some task we should do, or someone we should remind that we love, before God calls us home? But most importantly, have we asked for Christ's forgiveness for our sin?
Prayer: Remind us, God, that our preparation is only complete when we have accepted the gift, Christ, who paid for our sin on the cross of Calvary. Thank you for showing us the way, through Christ, to the place you have prepared for us. Amen.