here is hardly a biblical passage that is as well known among Adventists as John 14:1-3. The Adventist family around the world knows it by heart. It embodies our hope in a very concise and powerful way. It is a passage in which the Lord Himself makes a promise to His people and assures them that it will be fulfilled. Through it Jesus still speaks to us and encourages us with words of hope in our Christian pilgrimage. The words of hope present in the passage are needed today more than ever before by the human race. This is an age of fast and constant communication in which words play a central role. Most of the time the means of communication share with us words of death and suffering. The world needs a voice of hope and comfort. Since Jesus gave us words of hope, we should be that voice.
John 14:1-3 contains a fundamental contrast between departure and return, or separation and reunion. It is loaded with emotions—the emotions of friendship and love and the anticipated fear or uncertainty that separation creates. But there is also the exhortation to keep the hope alive in the anticipation of the return of Christ. Jesus sought to comfort the disciples “by speaking words of hope and courage. ‘Let not your heart be troubled,’ He said, ‘ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 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.’ What a comfort these words should be to us. Think of the work Christ is now doing in heaven—preparing mansions for His children” (Ellen G. White, Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, p. 145).
The sermons for the readings of the Week of Prayer are based on that Advent passage. We thought it would be good for the church to revisit it in order for us to be reminded of our true spiritual roots and of the reason for our existence. John 14:1-3 contains words of hope whose content and meaning have been explored by different writers as they tried to make them relevant for the church today.
I would like to exhort the church to reread John 14:1-3. Let it be read in the privacy of our personal devotions, in the context of our family worship, in the gathering of the saints for worship. Let us listen to it together and let the living power of the Word of God impact us and renew our expectation of the soon return of Christ. May that recommitment to the coming Lord strengthen our willingness to go out and announce to the world that the King is coming.
Yours in the Christian hope,
Jan Paulsen is president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.