This past weekend was our church's Homecoming Sunday. Saturday we had a church clean-up day to spiff up the grounds and inside. Lots of people showed up to clean, straighten, landscape, set up, and fellowship. We worked for about three hours. While we were all doing that, the Cub Scout Pack that the church sponsors had a fund-raising car wash in the front parking lot at the church. It was really hot out, but those little boys worked hard and raised over $400 for their activities.
Saturday night we had a hot dog supper, and then a Gospel group sang for us. There was a lot more sweet fellowship.
Sunday morning we had about 230 people at church (we usually have 140-150.) Eric preached a sermon called "You're not a good person, and neither am I." He laid the gospel out there, and now we are praying for it to take root in the hearts of those who were there who are not saved.
After the morning service, what do you think we did? Ate, of course. We are Baptists, after all. We had a HUGE covered dish dinner, where everyone ate plenty/too much/enough for an army.
So here's what I've been thinking: There are aspects to Homecoming Sunday that are kind of sad. Seeing people come to church who have left for some reason, knowing they may not come again until next year--that's sad. Knowing that there are some people who won't come back for Homecoming because they had their feelings hurt in the past--that's sad. Realizing that there are church members missing this year because they went Home to be with the Lord--that's sad. Oh, wait, that's also happy! And it leads me to this: there are plenty of happy, joyous, wonderful things about Homecoming Sunday. Family members get together, old friends are reunited, everyone worships together and praises the Lord for His goodness, and we have a big feast. Does this sound like anywhere else to you? It makes me long for heaven, for the ultimate Homecoming of which all believers will be a part someday. The great weekend we just had here on earth is nothing compared to the fellowship, worship, and feasting that will take place in the presence of God.
While we're waiting for that Homecoming, the special Sundays here on earth are a great reminder of what awaits us.