Homecomings offer us a rare glimpse of Heaven’s delights

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 13, 2010

Homecoming … just saying the word sends me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Whether it’s walking down the hallowed halls of my high school or college, visiting a church of my childhood, walking the streets of the neighborhood where I grew up…coming back to places I once called home brings back precious memories.

I disagree with author Thomas Wolfe who wrote, “You can’t go home again.”  I prefer Dorothy’s perspective in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz” when she said, “There’s no place like home,” while clicking the heels of her ruby slippers together.

What makes coming home special is seeing the people who made an impact on our lives. I recently had the opportunity to thank one of my favorite English teachers for the knowledge I learned from his classes in college.

During reunions with fellow students and former teachers, conversations often include the words, “Remember when…” as we travel back to happy yesterdays. Though I may have heard hundreds of times the memories shared by family members, I never tire of hearing them again.

There are no sweeter memories than those created at family reunions and homecomings. I think they are a taste of heaven.  As much as I look forward to our homecomings and family reunions, I long for the grandest reunion of all.  Heaven will be the ultimate homecoming.

That’s when we’ll have eternity – not just a weekend – to spend together reminiscing about our lives here on earth.  I look forward to reconnecting with Christian friends I worked, worshipped or fellowshipped with during my lifetime.  I’ll see many other people who made an impact on my life like Sunday school teachers and I will tell them their Bible lessons taught me how to live my life.

The Bible tells us that in heaven, “God shall wipe away all tears… and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4).

Some of Jesus’ final words while He walked on earth promise us that He was going back to heaven to “prepare a place” for His loved ones (John 14:2).  Anne Graham Lotz describes heaven as a “prepared place for a prepared people.”  Jesus promised He’s preparing a place for those who confess their sins and accept His love and forgiveness.

There will come a day when the grandest reunion of all will begin.  I wonder if loved ones who have passed on are standing on the front porches of their mansions, looking down the golden streets watching for us to arrive.

Perhaps a hymn writer described it best, “That will be a glad reunion day.”  I’m looking forward to that homecoming.