Revelation 21:1-3 – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (NIV)
Revelation 21:11 – It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. (NIV)
There is nothing like finding a welcoming, attractive place to stay at the end of a long day of travel. On our recent trip, we discovered such a place when we checked into our bed and breakfast for the night. The view overlooking the rolling hills and farmland was restful. There was ample parking and a beautiful lounge complete with a warm, dancing fire in the fireplace. Comfortable chairs and a library of interesting books invited one to come in and relax after a day on the road. When I made a note of the added touches that I felt made this B and B stand out from several others I'd stayed in, it soon filled a page in my notebook: fresh flowers in the rooms and bathroom, bottled water and glasses, attractive linens, etc. While it is true that some of these physical comforts are found in other establishments, these touches and the attention the host gave each guest combined to make this place an award-winning establishment.
Our host greeted the guests at the door, and then took them on a tour of his home, showing them their rooms. The next morning, this same host, wearing a huge smile, greeted the guests, and in honour of their visit, wore a lapel pin displaying the flags of their province or country on his tartan vest. Even though he was busy serving a delicious breakfast, he had time to explain the sights of the area, draw helpful maps, and offer travelling tips to help each guest enjoy his home country.
When I thought on this experience, I was reminded of John's description of heaven in the book of Revelation and of the welcome we will receive when we come to the end our journey here on earth. There will be people there from every walk of life and every nation, and God will welcome us to His beautiful abode and point out the comforts of our new home in heaven. He will erase the memories of the long journey here on earth, and we will find rest, nourishment, and fellowship like we've never experienced before.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to serve You faithfully until we reach our home in heaven. Amen.