“and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am…” – John 14:3
While meeting with families to discuss funeral arrangements, I often hear (and share) some version of the phrase “my loved one is home.” This truth brings comfort and hope to each one of us. Jesus told the disciples he would go to “prepare a place” for us, and in previous versions mentioned a house, rooms, and even a mansion. While we do not know or understand all the details of heaven, we hold deeply to the idea that God welcomes us into His loving presence and our eternal home.
This reality does not easily assuage the grief and pain that we experience in the loss of a loved one. However, the thought of a “homecoming” in heaven gives us the anticipation of a future reunion and the assurance that in Christ we will be reunited with our loved ones for eternity. We are also reminded of the ultimate healing that happens in union with God, so that our homecoming will bring the complete and final healing from our earthly problems.
Just as we look forward to seeing friends and celebrating at fall homecomings, I believe we can look forward to our eternal homecoming with great joy and excitement. I almost envision us running through a “balloon arch” – like the beginning of a football game – as we enter the presence of the saints on whose shoulders we stand – those who have gone before us into God’s presence. Today, let’s give thanks that God has made a way in Christ for us to be home with loved ones for all eternity.
– Phil Greenwald, Executive Pastor of Administration