In My Father’s House

uihlein-mansion.jpgThis afternoon was one of those brilliant autumn days in Milwaukee where the sky was the deepest blue, and the yellow and red maples were at their most stunning. After church, Tom and I drove to the east side of Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan.

We parked and took a walk along Lake Drive where the big mansions of some of Milwaukee’s early industrialists line the bluffs. Each mansion was unique and different. Some had big wrought iron gates and pristine lawns, others were closer to the street but loomed imposingly above us. There were Tudors and Mediterranean-style villas and enormous colonials and some were just vast piles of masonry with no identifiable architectural style. Each one seemed more beautiful than the next. (One that we walked past is pictured above. It’s the famous Uihlein mansion.) The lake just behind the mansions was as blue as I have ever seen it. Tom and I tried to pick out our favorites but failed. They were all too grand.

As we walked I asked Tom what he thought it might be like in heaven some day where Jesus said he is preparing “many mansions.” I pointed to a mansion in the distance. “There’s the mansion where Jonathan Edwards lives. And over there is Spurgeon’s. And there’s Luther’s and there’s St. Paul’s….” (I secretly hope that Wesley’s mansion is right next to Calvin’s and that Luther’s is next to Zwingli’s, but that’s another post!) I wondered aloud whether we will be able to knock on the doors of these heavenly mansions and speak with these faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who ran the race and prevailed by the blood of the Lamb. Imagine the questions we would ask.

What would it be like someday in heaven to speak with Moses and Joseph and Abraham? How about John the Baptist? Jeremiah? Elijah? Of one thing I am certain. The grandest mansion here on earth is beset with decay and deterioration. At its most beautiful, no mansion here could possibly compare with the glories of the place Jesus is preparing for those who love Him. What a place of beauty that must be where the light is the Son of God and where no sin or darkness can ever enter in.

Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O I know not, what joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.

They stand, those halls of Zion, all jubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel, and all the martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them, the daylight is serene.
The pastures of the blessèd are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David, and there, from care released,
The shout of them that triumph, the song of them that feast;
And they, who with their Leader, have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever are clad in robes of white.

O sweet and blessèd country, the home of God’s elect!
O sweet and blessèd country, that eager hearts expect!
Jesus, in mercy bring us to that dear land of rest,
Who art, with God the Father, and Spirit, ever blessed.

–Bernard of Morlaix

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me 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

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:1-3

4 thoughts on “In My Father’s House

  1. Christian says:

    Hi Ingrid,

    I know the street you’re talking about — I interviewed for a job in Milwaukee and was dazzled by how well-preserved the mansions are. (In Cleveland, where I’m from, a lot of the old architecture is no longer what it once was.)

    Thank you for putting them in proper perspective — they’re nice, sure, but they pale in comparison to the inheritance we have in Christ, laid up and reserved in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal. There is our true Treasure, our Redeemer Christ. When I, as I sometimes do, become enamored of the things of this life, I must always remember what is temporal, and what is eternal. Grand houses are fun to stroll by, but we will worship at the feet of our God for eternity.

    I’m happy to read you had a good time! Thank you for all you do. You will certainly have a mansion in Heaven yourself one glorious day!

  2. mel says:

    Thank you for the reminder! Truly we are not home yet. I pray we are never so comfortable in this world that we are not looking forward to the next! I am so thankful that Jesus is preparing a home for me! It is also so important that we remember that things of beauty- be it mansions, music, nature, etc.- can and should point us to the Creator. As I homeschool my kids, I try to always show them God’s handiwork in the world around us. Yes, even the stones cry out His name!

    Thank you for all you do here and on Crosstalk, Ingrid. Coming here is one of the highlights of my day.


  3. Mrs. U says:

    What a wonderful post!!! I’m sitting here with tears as I imagine walking the streets of gold with my Savior and learning who lives where in Heaven!! What a glorious time it will be!!!

    Mrs. U

    PS- I just LOVE the way you write!! I’ve never been to Milwaukee, but I could see so clearly the mansion lined street as you described it. Thank you for using your gift to bring honor to the Lord! 🙂

  4. Carol says:

    Thank you for reminding us that while the seemingly grand mansions made by human hands, pale in comparison to what Jesus is preparing for His saints! In this age of carnal Christianity, many would wish to gain such a place in this life, but for what? It would only be ours for a short time and then become someone else’s after we’re gone.

    But the eternal glory that is coming, we can only imagine, and those images we have would not be able to comprehend it all.But we look to that time, and we must live our lives today preparing for eternity. Many Christians lose sight of the eternal glory to come, being caught up in this life and trying to obtain their “best life” NOW..How sad this view is, for to have the “best life” now…is not going to last into eternity. We may suffer through things here, but how we respond to those sufferings will prepare us for our reward in heaven. Eternity lasts far longer than “now”…It’s unfortunate that most people are blinded by the glare of the glitzy Christianity and miss the true Biblical way of living.

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