Our churches and our individual lives have “upper rooms” also where we are led to hear and understand the WORD as He relates to real life and relationship with God. God’s purpose from the first day of creation was that we would experience God’s love made known through Old Testament witnesses and later through the ministering of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man. In these upper rooms we, too, wait and seek out a relationship with God.
But in upper rooms we also learn a lot more about ourselves. We learn that the world often does not see things as God sees them and worldly people are often hostile to God and his anointed Son. But listen, we also learn the truth that we are “beloved of God” in spite of our hostile reactions. God repeatedly comes to us with the gift of redeeming love. Because of relationship we no longer live among the dead, but are empowered to make known in and through our lives that God is vibrant and active in a post Easter world. And Easter people are waiting for what is coming next.
As a hospice chaplain, I often talk to people facing death about what they see lying ahead. Most are assured because they know that God has a place for them or their loved ones. They know also that the sufferings of this world will be behind them in the near future. They look beyond upper room fear to the joy of being with loved ones and with God. The final prayer of Jesus found in John 17:1-11 is that the Father will protect his beloved children and for our living in the painful world. The prayer is a reminder that we are not left orphaned but God continually prays for us and with us.
The Easter season in our churches is ending and now Pentecost and ordinary time is on the threshold. Today marks a threshold of our faith in our crossing over from the life of Christ to becoming a living Christian church. The long season of Pentecost will give us opportunities to cross over to the expectations for our lives and how the many parables of the New Testament relate to our living in a confusing, mixed up, violent world. The Advocate comes with the new season to “show us the way.”
We look up today with the assurance that God cares for us and loves us to the end. One way that you may feel this special love of God is to go to Wikipedia and access “the hand of God” and see the mosaic in the apse of the church of San Clemente in Rome. Above the cross, now become a tree of life, is the hand of God, under which first Christ and now we believers stand.