Heavenly Baggage

John 14:1-14 – The 5th Sunday of Easter – for Sunday, May 18, 2014

“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places…” (John 14:2)

Do you have plans for a future trip to heaven?

Where will you unpack your baggage upon arrival?

Will you be shown to a mansion, room or dwelling place?

The King James Version, first published in the early 1600s, translated Jesus’ claim with, In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

As a Sunday-school-attending, baby-boomer, I was raised on the Revised Standard Version’s, In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Much of my preaching and teaching used 1989’s New Revised Standard Version, 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?

Welcome to heaven?
Welcome to heaven?

Of course, John’s 14th chapter, regardless of translation, doesn’t mention heaven as the post-death zipcode for a “mansion” or “room.” Still, we think that way, don’t we? (Okay I think that way.)

With my current hospice ministry, I often hear grieving families declare a once-suffering spouse, parent or child is now “in a better place.” Isn’t “better place” another phrase for “heaven?” Continue reading →