A few days ago, our Lord called home a fellow college classmate of Joyce and mine, Dan Fratto. He was from Joyce’s hometown in those earlier days and on a few occasions drove Joyce and me back to school after a visit with her family. This now begs me to revisit the scriptures that reaffirm our faith in the hope of a reunion in that glorious place where now our brother enjoys an unfettered, unfiltered, and unrestricted absolute joy in our Lord’s presence.
My imagination runs wild with the thought that so many former classmates, as well as beloved teachers, who already have made that journey have been awaiting Dan escorted by our Lord into such a saintly community. They must have joined a chorus of angels applauding his homecoming!
Perhaps, it is my age and mortality that has me hungering for that reunion; perhaps, the home going of a friend from days long gone has become, like our Lord’s gentle touch upon the soul, a simple reminder that as more and more from those school days are finding their way to the gates of that heavenly city, we must stoke the fire in our own souls, to stir up the gift, remind ourselves why we are here for now and to inspire a joy that robs all sorrow to detain us or sidetrack us while we press forward toward the mark for that prize (Phil. 3:14).
Out Lord’s Word is His promise that He (John 14:3) will someday come for us, too. He is away building us a home in His Kingdom. And when He said He will return “to receive” us, “to take” us to Himself, these are the words of the Bridegroom reaching out for His bride’s hand to join her to himself. This is the language of intimacy and companionship.
Recalling Paul’s own heart’s cry (2 Corinthians 5:5-9):
We know that we are journeyers but will soon no longer need this tent we travel in because God has made us a permanent home in heaven. Oh how we long for it! This body is but a garment which we long to replace with that glorious one. Such a heavy burden, to finally let go of it and don that incorruptible and immortal one, when death will be finally defeated by eternal life! And how might we know this! The Spirit whom Jesus sent confirms it, guarantees it!!
We are therefore most confident, our hope rests in this truth, that while here, in this life, we live by faith. We live each day trusting our Lord who is most trustworthy. Our confidence has excited hope. Yes, our sole desire and aim, is to please our Lord in the meantime. But we are no longer at home in this life—to be sure—we so much prefer to be with our Lord where we will be … home!