Homesick for Heaven

539wAnd I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done…     –Rev. 21: 1-6

In the American Civil War…

…there is an old, old story about when the Federals and the Confederates were encamped on opposite sides of the Rappahannock. One morning the brass band of the Northern troops played the national air, or anthem, and all the Northern troops cheered and cheered.

Then, on the opposite side of the Rappahannock, the brass band of the Confederates played “My Maryland” and “Dixie,” and then all the Southern troops cheered and cheered.

But after a while one of the bands struck up “Home, Sweet Home,” and the band on the opposite side of the river took up the strain, and when the tune was done, as the tears rolled down their cheeks, the Confederates and the Federals all together united, gave one great “Huzza! Huzza!”

Well, my friends, heaven is very near…

It is only a stream that divides us –the narrow stream of death; and the voices there and the voices here seem to commingle, and we join trumpets and hosannas and hallelujahs, and the chorus of the united song of earth and heaven is, “Home, Sweet Home.”