Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Bev Riter
Sunday, August 19, 2018

The beautiful 15th c Villa Reale in Marlia, north of Lucca, Italy is an inviting place to visit, to walk around the many gardens and fountains. During the early medieval age, the walled buildings served as a fortress. In the 1800’s, it had Reale, meaning Royal, added to the name because it was bought by Elisa Bonaparte Bachicchi, Napoleon’s sister who was a Princess of Lucca and Queen of Etruria. Today, in the hands of new owners, one can spend a whole day walking and relaxing in its renovated gardens that comprise of 16 hectares or around 40 acres.

Heaven, like the Villa Reale, seems to be an inviting place. It won’t be a place to only visit, but to live! While in vision, John was shown a new heaven and a new earth where there was no sorrow or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:2-4) Jesus is building mansions for those who accept his salvation. (John 14-2-3) People will also build and inhabit houses as well as plant vineyards. While on earth, Jesus said he was going to heaven to prepare a place for us. He said He will return and take us to Heaven with Him. (John 14-1-3) He’s inviting all of us to join Him there! That’s the best invitation ever!