4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) Luke 2:4 (KJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I dreamed about Heaven again last night. Now that’s nothing to be alarmed about. I’ve been dreaming about it every-so-often for years. At first, years ago, I didn’t realize that it was Heaven that I was dreaming about, because my version of it didn’t fit the way that it’s typically pictured. There are no clouds, or harps, or angels with wings. My dreams of Heaven always take place in a house.
I’m not sure why, but the house I dream about changes from time to time. Sometimes it’s my grandmother’s house, and sometimes it my aunt’s house. Sometimes it’s Grandma Louie’s house. (Grandma Louie was Gwen Rockwood’s grandmother.) No matter whose house it is, the sun is always shining, and the rooms are full of light. The windows are always open, and there’s always a cool breeze that makes the white curtains flutter just a bit.
The thing that helped me figure out that I was always dreaming about Heaven was the identities of the people living in the house. The inhabitants of the house are folks who have gone to be with the Lord. They must have day jobs or something because they’re not all always at home at the same time when I stop by to see them. Sometimes my dad is there, and sometimes it’s my grandmothers. My aunts and uncles are there lots of times. Sometimes my cousins who died too young are there.
Sometimes friends I’ve lost and folks I loved from my congregation are there. And sometimes Gwen’s brother Greg stops by. You’d think that when we all see each other that we would hug or cry and stuff like that. But it’s not like that at all. The people are always busy with good things that they are doing. It’s like when you go to visit your relatives on Christmas. They’re thrilled to see you at the door, but then they have to go back to stirring the stuffing or putting rolls in the oven.
The best thing about my dreams is that they’re real. I mean, everybody has crazy dreams sometimes; you know, the kind where you are roasting marshmallows with Lyle Lovett and Mother Theresa in the shoe department at J.C. Penney’s. Those dreams are caused by things like cold medicine or bad digestion. But my dreams of Heaven are not like that at all. There’s never anything absurd going on. And if anyone tells me anything (which they don’t very often) it always turns out to be very comforting and useful later.
Did you know that Jesus said Heaven is like a house? When I was a child, all the churches still used the King James Version. Our preacher used to read, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how God could make a house that was full of mansions. But when I got older, I learned that the picture here is of a wealthy man who has a country villa. Everybody in the wealthy man’s family (and even his servants) have a place to live inside his house. Think about how the families lived together in the villa on the “Romeo and Juliet” movies. Or how everybody lived with Miss Ellie at Southfork on “Dallas.”
God’s house is mentioned in the Christmas story, too. Today’s Scripture text (at the top) says that Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem because they were of the “house and lineage” of David. That’s because Jesus came to rule “over the house of David” forever and ever.
This Christmas, take a little time to tell the little ones about the Lord Jesus. If we love Him, we’ll dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) If we open the door for Him, He’ll live with us in our houses here on earth. (Revelation 3:20)
*Previously published December 20122. Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (a little house where a lot of loving and happy things have gone on over the years.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.