I am repeating a post that Doug wrote about hope many years ago after his brother-in-law, Dick McGrew’s death. It bears repeating in these uncertain times. 

repeatingThe Excitement on the Landing …

The home where I grew up had a second-floor landing which ran between my older sister’s bedroom and my parents’ bedroom. My bedroom door, the doors of my younger brother and sister, and our parents’ door opened onto it. 

The first child to wake up on Christmas morning would excitedly wake the other children and we would gather on the landing, looking down the steps and imagining the gifts laid out in the living room which was out of sight below.

Several decades have passed, and as this Christmas  approaches I can visualize this turbulent world as the landing and the next world – the new heavens and a new earth – as the living room full of gifts to be opened and enjoyed. The new heavens and earth to be inhabited by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and us.

Revelation 21:1-4.

The joys of that new world are as uncertain to me as the unopened Christmas gifts my brother, sisters and I anticipated while fidgeting on the landing, waiting for our parents to dress and lead us down to fill the living room with shredded wrappings and excitement.

Our uncertainty about the family’s Christmas gifts (as imagined from the landing) did not stop us from rushing down to open them. Nor does my uncertainty about the details of the new heavens and earth detract from my desire to see and enjoy it. Why? 

I anticipate God’s new heavens and earth with excitement first because He will dwell with us there. John 17:3 

Also, our new home is created by a good God who has no interest in giving us gifts of “switches and ashes” or “lumps of coal.” (These were the gifts that killjoy grown-ups used to say bad children would find under the Christmas tree.) So I am willing to believe that our new home is better than we can imagine it.

Christ said, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3

As much as I enjoy the good things of this world, I am ready to unwrap the gifts of that one and be a living part of it. 

I wish you a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Dedicated to my brother in law and brother in Christ, Dick McGrew


Doug and his brother-in-law Dick

Repeating my better half’s good wishes — and reminding myself of HOPE.


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