Recently I was privileged to be invited to have lunch at a place where history is made.
It was with a sense of unreality that I gave my name to the policeman on duty at the entrance gate and he checked his list and greeted me by name, waving me through. He indicated where we were to go and we went through the doors into a place whose very walls had witnessed world events – and been part of their making.
We were greeted warmly by our hostess and wandered with her as she showed us various points of interest. People we recognised from news bulletins wandered past us. We were too polite even to whisper to one another ‘Wasn’t that …?’ ‘Could that have been …?’
There was such a lot to absorb I could barely take it in. Life-size paintings, statues, intricate carvings, friezes of battles. I was overcome with a sense of awe as I gazed around.
The dining room where we were to have lunch was grand. Voices were muted, service respectful, food delicious. Snow white linen, flowers, shining silver. Everything to the highest standard.
We enjoyed our meal. It was a feast, beautifully prepared and served. A meal to remember.
As we left the dining room a thought struck me. We had been treated as honoured guests throughout the visit (which continued on into the afternoon). And I had, at that moment, thought of myself as being in hallowed halls.
But these were not hallowed halls. This was not consecrated ground. This was a place where business and major decisions were made that could be, would be, life-changing for millions of people.
But in that moment, I found myself wondering what it will be like when I do arrive at the hallowed halls.
The hallowed halls of heaven.
There I would be met at the gates by Peter – would he have a list with my name on it, or would he recognize me as a Child of God?
There I would be greeted by the King.
There I would recognize people I had seen, heard and read about for a lifetime – some from millenia ago.
And there I would meet friends and family I had loved well and who had loved me, but who had arrived earlier than I in these halls.
There I would feast on a heavenly banquet, in the presence of my Saviour.
And even whilst I revelled in my current experience of being in this amazing place, I felt a spurt of excitement at the thought of arriving at the halls of heaven.
Strange how our minds work, sometimes, isn’t it?