If you have ever moved you know its hard work. With the packing, sorting, making decisions, it is easy to be overwhelmed. And then there are the “lasts.” Last conversations, last meetings, last times together with friends. Those are the hardest. Saying goodbye is never fun. You make these bonds and then one of you has to move. Not fun at all. But we are not the only ones who suffer the losses during a move.
In John 14: 23-29, we find Jesus speaking with his disciples. He is telling them, once again, he is going away. Jesus has already many times told them but they didn’t quite get it. This conversation takes place just before Jesus’ ascension. The disciples are confused and more than a little afraid.
This reminds me of a story about a little boy named Tommy.
Tommy was a little boy who lived with his mom and dad. One day, Tommy’s dad told him he got a new job and the family would be moving. He told Tommy he and his wife would be going ahead to prepare the new house. It was late in the school year and Tommy’s parents didn’t want to take him away from his friends at that time. So, Tommy’s parents arranged for a family Tommy knew very well to stay for the last few weeks of school. Even though Tommy knew the friends, he was scared. He wanted to be with his parents, where he knew he would be safe. Tommy’s dad reassured him he would be safe and fine. He told Tommy he and Tommy’s mom would call every day to hear about what Tommy was doing. Then he said something that helped Tommy a great deal. He said, “Tommy don’t be afraid. When everything is ready, we will come back to get you and bring you home with us.” This comforted the child and gave him something to look forward to. Tommy felt better about his parents leaving.
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These are the same words Jesus said to his disciples in that conversation. The disciples were afraid of losing Jesus. They didn’t know what would become of them and they were afraid the Roman government might come for them like they did Jesus. Jesus reminded them they had watched and learned from his teachings and miracles; and not only that, he would be sending the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them.
Today, we hear those same parting words spoken to us. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Jesus has promised to leave his Spirit to guide us. We never have to be afraid, for he is preparing our place in heaven and will return for us when everything is ready.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the good people of Osage for four wonderful years. I have enjoyed ministering to you all and now have to say, “God be with you until we meet again.” I have been reappointed to Epworth United Methodist Church and will be leaving the first week in July. Peace I leave you; not mine but the Peace of Christ.