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Gates and Beyond
Photo: Studiomill
One of my loves is gates, any kind of gates. They say to me, “Welcome, come on in.”

A recent day-trip to Huntsville, Alabama, piqued my sense of gate-love, touring the historic district. Like many historic districts, the town possesses lots of gates, the kind that lead to charming gardens, revealing a sense of beauty. Those are usually half-gates or artistic wrought iron gates. But some historic gates are tall and narrow, flanked by high fences, while others are wide and heavy.

Some of the most delightful gates I’ve ever seen are used in place of doors, leading to potting sheds. I’m even intrigued by the gates used for horse corrals. Those, of course, are more to keep people out and horses in.

One of my favorite gates, I saw along Lake Michigan. It hung slightly askew on rusty hinges, a gate that led to a cozy beach house. Regardless, if a gate is shut or open, it’s what’s beyond the gate that beckons me. I’ve yet to see a gate that doesn’t hold something of interest beyond its latch.

​White Picket Fence

The first home my husband and I bought was a small Cape Cod, in a development in our hometown, Akron, Ohio, called Castle Homes—and my joy was enlarged when my husband installed a white picket fence around the front yard. In the mid-50s, for a couple of kids who grew up during America’s Great Depression, it really seemed like our castle. But the best part of all was it had two gates, one at the street side and one on the driveway side, on which roses grew over an arch. Many friends and strangers alike walked through those gates, providing blessed memories.

However, as much as I delight in spying out gates here on this earth, there is another gate-walk that I long one day to traverse through. Revelation 21 tells us about, not just one, but 12 heavenly gates. All lead to the Holy City of God surrounded by a great, high wall adorned with jasper, and its foundation built of 12 precious jewels--and those 12 gates are each made of one giant pearl! The man-made gates of earth, even those made by the finest craftsmen, will be paltry in comparison. And verse 25 reveals that the gates of New Jerusalem, “…shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).”

But, to me, the most important part of walking through whichever gate is inscribed with my tribe’s name on it, will be what the next chapter 22, verses 3 and 4 promises, “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” That’s when I’ll know the real joy of what’s beyond the gate—and indeed, Jesus will say, “Welcome home.”

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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