In Episode 30 of Season 6, titled “A Singer in Town”, Jesse Pearson guest stars as “Keevy Hazelton”, who makes it big with a song about Mayberry titled “My Hometown” written by (Aunt) Bea Taylor and Clara Edwards.
While I did not grow up in the fictional hamlet of Mayberry, North Carolina, I was privileged to grow up just outside a town not too dissimilar in nature from it called Fayetteville, Georgia. And I will say that I have nothing but fond memories of my hometown.
Of course, even though I refer of it as my hometown, it was never really mine alone. Thousands of others called it their hometown as well. Still, I have often thought that if I had ever miraculously won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, I would gladly have purchased the entire town and preserved it (like some episode of The Twilight Zone) just as it was in my memory.
Sadly, neither of those things is apt to occur. To my knowledge, the city of Fayetteville, Georgia is not for sale; and given that I have never once entered the sweepstakes, the odds of my hearing the doorbell ring and responding to find a small entourage celebrating my newfound mega-wealth are not all that high.
But I did read about another town that is up for sale. It seems that the entire municipality of Water Valley, located in Maury County, Tennessee, is up for sale. Located about an hour south of Nashville near the famed Natchez Trace Parkway, the asking price for this town of approximately seven acres is $725,000.
Should anyone fork over the money, not only would he or she be a homeowner, but they would also be the mayor and/or the chief of police - provided of course, that they had a mind for that.
Or the new owner could choose to be a store owner. After all, Water Valley consists of no less than four general stores. Other options include farming, as the town contains a barn, and/or the owner of a bed and breakfast run from a circa-1900 creek-side home, complete with “updated wiring and plumbing”.
In fact, according to real estate broker, Christa Swartz, who is handling the sale, “You get to make the decisions and make the rules for your own little town if you get Water Valley.”
Oh, if I only had $725,000 to spare! But alas, like most people, I don’t. And so I have accepted that fact that I will not be able to claim this town as my very own. Water Valley will never be my hometown.
But that is okay. Why? Because I have been promised another city which will be mine for all eternity. That city, the New Jerusalem, is described in great detail in the Biblical Book of Revelation (chapters 21, verse 9 through chapter 22, verse 5).
9Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11shining with the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious jewel, like a jasper, as clear as crystal. 12The city had a great and high wall with twelve gates inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and twelve angels at the gates. 13There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south, and three on the west. 14The wall of the city had twelve foundations bearing the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15The angel who spoke with me had a golden measuring rod to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city lies foursquare, with its width the same as its length. And he measured the city with the rod, and all its dimensions were equal—12,000 stadia in length and width and height. 17And he measured its wall to be 144 cubits, by the human measure the angel was using.
18The wall was made of jasper, and the city itself of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19The foundations of the city walls were adorned with every kind of precious stone: The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate consisting of a single pearl. The main street of the city was pure gold, as clear as glass.
22But I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24By its light the nations will walk, and into it the kings of the earth will bring their glory. 25Its gates will never be shut at the end of the day, because there will be no night there.
26And into the city will be brought the glory and honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who practices an abomination or a lie, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
1Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the main street of the city. On either side of the river stood a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit and yielding a fresh crop for each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be within the city, and His servants will worship Him. 4They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.
Wow! What a place to call one’s hometown for all eternity!
And the greatest part of it all is that we do not have to pay for it. That’s right – its price has already been paid in full when God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, purchased entry to this place for all who believe!
My hometown in this world is a little place called Fayetteville, Georgia. Sadly, that place has already changed substantially from how it exists in my memory. But praise God, I have another hometown that will never change. That place is the “New Jerusalem”, more commonly known as “Heaven”; and I am going there to dwell forever one day because of God’s love, God’s mercy, and God’s grace, all made possible by God’s Son.
Remember, Heaven can be your hometown too! I invite you to go and dwell with me. More to the point, so does Jesus Christ!