For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
When we worked abroad, after some years we were given what was called a 'Permanent Residence Permit'. This was not citizenship; it just allowed us to stay and work. In the early centuries of the Christian Church, Christians often called themselves the 'peregrini' – the 'resident aliens'. They were in the world but it was not their real home. They were "looking forward to a home yet to come." (verse 14) Heaven was their real country, where their real citizenship was.
As the clock is ticking towards the end of the year, we are reminded that our time on earth is passing. We only have one lifetime to live here and it is important how we live that life. There's always a tension between our two 'countries'. We can get drawn too close to this world so that we forget all about heaven, or we try to ignore this world and think only of our spiritual blessings and longings for heaven. We may be 'aliens' as Christians, but God has placed us here to work for him and to tell the world of the Saviour it sorely needs. It is so important for us to live in such a way that our fellow residents in the world will see the 'glow' of heaven in our lives and they will want to travel with us to our home 'yet to come'. To do this, we must keep our eyes fixed on the heavenly city and not be immersed in the world and its ways.
Lord, as we are coming to the end of another year, help me to keep in mind my real home in heaven, but not neglect anything you have planned for me to do here and now. Please help me to get the balance right. Amen.