There Is A Place For You

First published June 2018

The Reverend Ray Gibbs reminds us that God's love is never-ending and unfailing, and that we all have a place in God's Kingdom.

God always loves you. It’s a simple message, which we hear about all the time in church, but it can still be a hard thing to grasp. In nearly every aspect of life, we feel that we need to earn what we receive. We work hard in a career to get paid at the end of the week or month. We are nice to our friends with the expectation that we will receive friendship in return. We try to live with integrity so that we will be seen as respectable. There is action and then consequence. We reap what we sow, whether it be good or bad.

Now for something you all know. The story of Jesus begins with an overbooked hotel. Mary and Joseph travel to their hometown, Bethlehem, to be counted in a government census. They tirelessly search for a place to stay, but not a single place has a room to spare. You know how the story goes: Mary gives birth to Jesus in a humble stable, probably surrounded by all sorts of animals and creepy-crawlies.

In our world, resources are often limited. Hotels only have a certain number of rooms, airplanes only have a specific number of seats, and cinemas and theatres only a limited number of tickets to sell. This can be a huge source of stress or even conflict. Wars have been, and still are, fought over the limitation of resources. It is the way of the world.

But God’s kingdom works differently: “In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places.”  This is what Jesus teaches his disciples as he prepares for his death. God’s love is limitless. It is never-ending and unfailing. It is a grace that goes on and on forever. God is boundless, and so too, is God’s compassion.

The story of Jesus begins with human limitation (no rooms at the inn), but it ends with Christ’s infinite love.  In fact, Christ’s story will never truly end!  God’s grace is so vast, and is with you now and forever. So, as Jesus reminds us, in our world of constant issues, hatred, prejudice and evil, they are nothing compared to the love of God. Not one thing in all of creation, not even death itself, can separate us from Jesus! God’s love always wins in the end, so we can say with confidence: do not let your hearts be troubled. God has prepared a place for you. The grace of Christ is unstoppable and endless. There is nothing in all of the universe that is greater.