“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places,” Jesus says. “If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”Just where exactly the Father’s house is, and how there are going to be dwelling places for the disciples, and where Jesus is going and how and when he will be returning … well, for people who had just witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus, this all must be very challenging to comprehend.Thomas responds to Jesus and probably sums up the thoughts of all of his followers at the moment. “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” They really don’t know where Jesus is going. They probably don’t really even understand what he is talking about.“I am the way and the truth and the life,” Jesus tells Thomas and the rest. Maybe that’s all they really need to know — that Jesus is the doorway to the divine. Jesus’ teaching, his life, his example, his living presence is what his followers have to hold on to and to guide them as they seek spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment. Jesus showed us a God who is generous, compassionate and forgiving, and most of all who has infinite reserves of unconditional love for all people.Jesus is the way. From his baptism, when a voice from the heavens proclaimed, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased,” Jesus offered the world a dramatically positive notion of God. Jesus demonstrated a relationship with God in which we can assume that God is pleased with us and not angry with us.Jesus showed us a God who is generous, compassionate and forgiving, and most of all who has infinite reserves of unconditional love for all people. Jesus showed us a God who loves all people equally — regardless of one’s racial, ethnic or spiritual pedigree. This is the way that he offers us — a way that is not legalistic or formulaic but is radically personal and positive. This is the new reality that dawned with Easter Sunday. The living presence of God in Christ could not be extinguished, and continues to show us the way to live and to receive and enjoy the grace of God. We may not understand it. I certainly don’t. I don’t know the physical location of the Father’s mansion, or how and when God intervenes in our lives and our world. And it can be a struggle to believe in God’s love and grace when I am hurting or lost. But the good news of Easter and of the Gospel is that God’s love is bigger, beyond what I can imagine or predict. When I feel lost or confused, I need to remember that Jesus is the way back to the experience of God’s love.Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at [email protected].