[Jesus said,] “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)
As I write this, I am in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston, where I have been attending a conference for the past few days. But today I am going home. And I am very, very excited about going home!
Part of the reason that I am excited to be going home is because of the place. There are people at this conference from all over the United States. When people ask me where I am from, I tell them that I am from Vancouver, British Columbia. Invariably, they pause for a moment, then say, “Vancouver is a very beautiful city. I love Vancouver.” We are very blessed to live in a very beautiful part of God’s creation!
But the main reason that I am excited to be going home is because of the people. I ache with the anticipation of being reunited with Susan and our children. I miss them dearly and I look forward to seeing them face-to-face and being in their presence once again. I also look forward to seeing you again too. I am very thankful to be part of a community of faith like Walnut Grove Lutheran Church where we live and serve and love and suffer alongside each other as we follow Jesus together.
This longing to go home hints of a deeper, more powerful longing that stirs in each human heart. As wonderful as life can be in this world, it is only a shadow of the life to come, a life for which we ache with anticipation. We long for a life where all brokenness is healed, every wrong is made right, and every grieving heart is given comfort. We long for a life of fruitfulness, purpose and fulfillment, and our mortal hearts hunger for a connection with the divine.
And though we have not been there before, we already know something of this ultimate home for which we long. We know that there is a king there who is a good and loving King. We already know that he rules with grace, mercy, justice and peace for he rules here and now over our lives. We know that he heals and gives life because he has already healed our sin-sick soul and given life to our spirit. We know that he loves and provides because he is already doing that for us. Through his suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus has already opened up the kingdom of heaven to us and made us citizens of that kingdom with all of the rights and privileges that go with being a citizen of heaven. But there is more to come.
Part of it is the place. Imagine what it will be like to be in a place of perfect peace where there is no more hunger, way, suffering, sorrow or pain, and no more death. Imagine what it will be like to be fully human, whole and right in every way, with a body that works perfectly, as it was originally designed to do. That’s what it will be like in our future home!
But mostly it is the people. First and foremost, we long to see Jesus face-to-face and have him wipe every tear from our eyes. With the gift of faith in Jesus in our hearts, our Saviour will take us by the hand and lead us through death’s dark door into the wonderful light of eternity with him. What a wonderful day that will be when we can look into the eyes of Jesus and see his adoring gaze resting upon us! But there will also be a wonderful reunion with all those who have gone home before us. We ache to see them once again, and with Jesus, that will happen!
And so we continue our lives on this earth in the confidence of Jesus’ love and care. And, at the same time, we look forward with great anticipation to the time when we will get to go to the eternal home Jesus has prepared for us. We’re going home! And that is something about which we can get very, very excited!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I thank you for giving me faith and making me a citizen of heaven. Thank you for preparing a beautiful forever home for me in heaven. Please help me to give glimpses of heaven to others. Amen.