HOMECOMING OR REST-STOP ALONG THE WAY?
Some years ago, I was called upon to do the funeral service for my Grandfather in Wilmington N.C. He had lived a long rich life into the 90s, and had been a devout Christian and member of his Baptist Church. I remember when I was small asking him with some fear and trepidation why he had been such a straight arrow in life, so to speak. He told me “Heaven is too sweet, and hell is too hot to mess around in this life.” That stuck with me through these many years. He had his eye on the afterlife, and he lived his earthly life with at least one eye always on that horizon just as John is encouraging us to do in our text for today. The time came for the interment service at the old graveyard, and the funeral directors were about to crank my grandfather down into the ground, when an impulse struck me. I had not seen Pop, as I had arrived after the visiting hours and the casket had been closed throughout the service in the church and at the graveyard. I asked them to open the casket for a moment, and I went over and kissed my grandfather on the forehead and said “Goodbye Pop”, but then I thought—No. He is not gone, he has just gone on to the heavenly resting station. And so instead I would now say having learned from John— “I’ll see you at home.”