Last spring, my daughter, Olivea, was accepted into Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She wisely accepted their acceptance, resulting in my wife and me dropping her off at college in the middle of August in the middle of nowhere for freshman orientation.
I haven’t seen my little girl in 6 weeks. Thankfully, that’s about to change. Her school is hosting its annual “Family Weekend” this weekend, so we’ll finally get to spend a couple of days with Olivea. It should be a great time.
But therein lies the problem. We hear that these events are such a great time that EVERYONE is going. Not only will the parents of all the freshmen be there, but the parents of all the sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be there as well!
Now, do you remember a few paragraphs ago, when I told you that Bucknell is in the middle of nowhere? Well, when you put EVERYONE in the same place at the same time and that place is in the middle of nowhere, that causes a hotel shortage of biblical proportions (see little town of Bethlehem).
We were alerted to this logistical nightmare fairly early in the admission process, so we expeditiously made hotel reservations through Expedia.com. Or at least, we tried to.
It turned out that all of the lodgings in Lewisburg were sold-out a year ago, as were all of the hotels and motels within a thirty-mile radius of the school. My wife, not one to quit, persevered until she eventually found a room at a reasonable rate about forty miles away. Not terribly convenient, I’ll admit, but at that point we were thrilled to have a place anywhere in Pennsylvania to lay our heads at night.
We gave Expedia our credit card number and they in turn gave us reservations. According to our Discover card statement, this transaction was completed in June. Yesterday, however, just days before our big “family reunion”, we received an unsettling email from Expedia saying that we no longer had a room.
Evidently, we had broken the law - the law of supply and demand, that is.
My guess is that when Expedia “Discovered” that they had many more customers than rooms, they cancelled all the cheaper reservations they had on the books and then released those now-available rooms to the moneyed masses at a premium price. Sound$ right, right?
Well, that’s wrong!
What’s the point of making reservations if they don’t actually reserve the room? Isn’t that why they’re called RESERVATIONS?
Can you imagine if Jesus worked at Expedia? If he did, the poor fella would surely have to change the course of his Farewell Discourse in John’s Gospel. Instead of saying, “In my Father’s house are many rooms…”, they’d make him water it down a bit by proclaiming, “In my father’s house are a couple of rooms, one of which may or may not be available to you when you need it. It all depends on how much money you’re willing to pay.”
Thankfully, Jesus’ offer of eternal life is UNconditional. In his Father’s house, there are no blackout periods, or secret codes to enter, or disclaimers printed in really tiny fonts. “In my Father’s house are many rooms…”, he says.
That’s our reservation for salvation! And our salvation reservation is confirmed in the very next sentence when Jesus assures us, “If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”
Thanks to Expedia, I may not have any place to sleep this weekend. But thanks to Jesus, I will sleep very well.