Sitting on the west terrace of the Biltmore House, Cathy and I joined thousands of others enjoying a summer evening listening to an outdoor concert by Mercy Me. As the sun was going down and dusk was settling over the North Carolina mountains, Bart Millard introduced the next song, Finally Home, a look to the day those who know Jesus Christ will see Him face to face in heaven. But something had happened since the release of the song. With soldiers returning home from war fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, many families adopted the song as an expression of the way they felt when their sons and daughters, fathers and mothers returned home after months in harm’s way–the relief the soldiers themselves felt to be back with their families and loved ones, “finally home” where they belong.
Just as the band began to play the intro to the song, from the southwest, silhouetted against the mixed colors of the sunset, a large C-130 transport plane climbed through the sky just above the stage. The video below was on the screen, picturing soldiers coming home, many of them on planes just like the one we were seeing. Seeing that sight and hearing the words of the song as Bart began to sing was a wonderfully profound moment no one could have planned. We were moved…struck by the level of sacrifices made by the troops defending and giving their lives for our freedoms as a nation…made thankful for the price others were paying on our behalf.
So on this day, Veterans Day 2011, here is a video tribute to those who have served us and to the many who gave their lives for us.
But at the end of the day, the song is still about the place prepared for us by Jesus Christ, the home that is ultimately ours because He gave His life to gain it for us.
And as much as I appreciate the sentiment that we will long to see loved ones who have preceded us to our eternal home, the One face we will long to see above all others will be that of the Lamb of God, slain for us and for our salvation! When we are “finally home,” we get to see Jesus, face to face…and He tells us that we will be made like Him and will be with Him in adoring worship forever and ever!
“Then I’ll gaze upon the throne of the King frozen in my steps;
and all the questions that I swore I would ask–words just won’t come yet.
So amazed at what I’ve seen, so much more than this old mind can hold.”
Now that is enough to stir the hearts of everyone who knows Him and longs to see Him!