A few years ago, I had the privilege of touring the Holy Land with a group of Christian women journalists. It was an incredible experience! So many familiar Scriptures took on new meaning, as we were able to put them into their cultural and historical and geographical context. Our tour guides were intent on make the most of every moment we were there… In ten days, they took us from one end of the country to the other — and back again. (We joked that the popular tourism slogan should be changed to “RUN where Jesus walked.”)
One day as we drove through the countryside, another member of our tour group pointed out that there were a lot of large, sprawling homes in the hills, which seemed to indicate wealth and luxury. Except that different wings of the houses were made of different materials. It was almost as though they were patched together, built on and built on, more rooms added at different times.
Our guide explained that this was — in fact — exactly what had happened! She shared that in the traditional Middle Eastern culture, from the moment a son is born into the family, the father begins setting aside building materials and supplies to add rooms in anticipation of the day that the son will bring home his bride. Their whole family will all live under one roof together.
Although my family’s British, I could relate. I grew up in a large family home –we called it “The Big House” — surrounded by my great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as my own parents and siblings. The second and third floors were divided up into suites of rooms for the different families within our family. But on the ground floor, we all came together in the large kitchen and dining room and living rooms.
Everywhere you looked, there was someone you loved — and someone who loved you. Someone to play with you or spend time with you. You could make scones with Nana in the kitchen or help Nanny sweep the porch or do craft projects with Auntie.
It was heavenly.
Listening to our tour guide in Israel, I flashed back to my childhood in the Big House and then I immediately thought of John 14:1-3, where Jesus says: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms…I go to prepare a place for you… And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Talk about a big house!
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus — God’s Son — has chosen us to be His Bride. Right now, He’s gone to get everything ready (to build on those extra rooms), but one day soon He’ll return and bring us home to His Father.
We’ll all be together forever as one huge happy family.
Never separated from our True Love again.
If you want to learn more about what the Bible says about Heaven, here are two great books I recommend: Heaven by Randy Alcorn and Heaven: Your Real Home by Joni Eareckson Tada.
Don’t Forget This Week’s Assignment:
If you’re participating in Summer in the Son — our online study of the Gospel of John:
Read John Chs 12-14.
Memorize John 13:15.
Remember that you can download a free reading checklist and memory verse flash cards here: VBS Summer in the Son Printables. You can also pin the memory verses directly from our Summer in the Son board on Pinterest.
What’s something you look forward to in Heaven?