‘Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
When I visit homes of people to offer them encouragement and ministry I will often see a sign here or there at the front entrance to the house. Sometimes it warns people of an unfriendly dog that lives there, sometimes the message says, “Welcome” or some similar pleasant greeting.
Recently I went to a home for a visit and noticed the mat at the front door. It was well worn but the word “Welcome” could till be easily seen on it. I knew the people living there and was well aware of their gift of hospitality. I knew the mat was worn because this man and his wife were always having people over to extend hospitality and offer their own words of kindness and blessing. I wondered how long it took for a mat to wear out at this hospitable home.
Our Scripture speaks of the day when the Lord welcomes a child of His to their eternal home. Clearly when a believer enters heaven the Lord gives His loved one a special welcome. From reading the Bible we learn that the first person a Christian sees entering heaven is Jesus Himself.
We will not start by marveling the wonderful architecture we see, or listen carefully to the glorious music we might hear. The very first impression we shall have is to look on the face of our Lord and hear His words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
A number of hymns have been written over the centuries that describe the believer’s great longing to see Jesus in heaven. Some are still sung in the more traditional churches and one or two are even quoted at times at wedding banquets.
Anne Cousins (1824-1906), Scottish poet wrote a remarkable poet of some 21 verses about the beauty of Jesus in heaven and how His people long to see Him there and hear His welcome home. One verse, often quoted in weddings reads:
The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face,
I shall not gaze on glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand,
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.
Regardless of how welcome we may have felt in certain homes in this world, it is nothing compared to what awaits us when we enter our Father’s home above. May your thoughts of that day help to take away the present sorrow. All the pain and suffering we experience here will quickly fade as the dawn of heaven breaks.