“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live…Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14: 18-19, 27)
Jesus promises his followers eternal life, and all of us have an instinct that tells us that there is something that is eternal—a soul, an essence of some sort that cannot be explained. Great writers have written about it. The stage manager in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, says it well: “We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars…everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it.” This is the something that Jesus talks about in these verses. Jesus never truly leaves us, and we can see him and see the eternal in each other by remembering that the inexplicable spirit that lives in Christ lives in us as well. This faith can be a source of peace and comfort to us if we try not to lose hold of it.
Wondering: How can we hold on to the assurance that in life and in death, we belong to God, and how can we hold on to a peace that passes understanding?