|I saw Heaven standing open, and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.|
The great preacher of yesteryear, RG Lee, used to tell a story about his mother. He asked her one day, “What was the happiest day of your life?” I thought she might say something about the day one of her children was born, or the day my father asked her to marry him, or perhaps her wedding day. For a long moment she sat there and then looked across the room as if she could see for a great distance. And then she spoke. 'It was during the war between the North and South. The men were all away. My mother, your grandmother, had to do the work of a man in the fields. She eked out a living for us from the farm. One day a letter came saying that my father, your grandfather, Bennett, had been killed. That letter contained a great many kind words about his bravery and sacrifice. Mother did not cry much that day, but at night we could hear her sob in the dark of our small house. About four months later, it was summer, we were all sitting on the porch shelling beans. A man came down the road, and mother watched him for a while and then said, ‘Elizabeth, honey, don't think me strange, but that man coming yonder walks like your father.’ The man kept coming along the road, but we children thought, ‘It couldn't be him.’ As he came to the break in the fence where the path ran, he turned in. Mother sprang from her chair scattering beans everywhere. She began to run, and she yelled over her shoulders, ‘Children, it's your father.’ She ran all the way across the field until they met. She kissed him and cried and held him for the longest time. And that, Robert Lee, was the happiest hour I ever knew.'
Whatever your happiest day was, it pales in comparison to the day we’re going to talk about this Sunday morning. This is the day Christians have sung about for centuries in innumerable songs. It’s the fulfillment of all of our fondest hopes and most cherished dreams. Revelation 19-20 has a lot to say about this day, and some parts--especially 20:1-11--are the subject of controversy. I won't shy away from that controversy this Sunday, but I hope to spend most of my time just helping us see in advance the best day we'll ever experience.