Have we made it? I hope so. I think so. Wayne Memorial is emptying of patients and welcoming visitors again. Finally. Fewer patients. Fewer sick people. The curve is flattening.
There is a curve that has been flat but needs to turn upward. Your church attendance. This crazy, not from God at all, pandemic has flattened attendance. Some of you have stayed home and stayed home awhile now. I understand. For so many of you that was the safest, wisest thing to do. But with lowering cases and with high availability of vaccines, even boosters, it’s time to break the stay home habit and come back. And we have the perfect Sunday to do that.
November 7th is Homecoming, the first one in two years. That alone is worth celebrating. An old, familiar day on our calendar has returned. We’ll gather. We’ll eat the Baptist bird together. We’ll remember with fondness and with Christian hope those who have gone on to be with Christ. Familiar elements of Homecoming. But this Homecoming won’t be quite so familiar. We’re turning up the fun a notch. And the music, too.
Joining us for worship are The Ball Brothers, and I couldn’t be more excited. The Ball Brothers (actually two brothers and two others, but, hey, we’re all brothers, right?) The Ball Brothers are a huge get for us to have on a Sunday morning. I’m truly excited. Their music has broad appeal. They perform at youth rallies and at senior adult conferences. At their Sunday morning church appearances grandma’s and grandchildren often find themselves clapping along and worshipping together. We’re going to have a big, fun day. The Baptist cooking is always good too. We’ll worship and we’ll eat. A celebration.
It will be a little bit like the ultimate homecoming. Great music and celebration. Great food. The kingdom of heaven is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. Oxen and fattened cattle, delicacies of every kind. A prepared hall. He just needed people to come. Some (who knows why?) didn’t want to come so they didn’t. But the king wanted his house full. He wanted people to come, to enjoy, and to celebrate with his son, so he went out and found others to come fill the hall. Heaven will be a little bit like our homecoming. Come fill the place with us. Come on. It will be great to worship together again, with a full house, and with people to greet and hug. It will be great to see old faces, and maybe even to have to give up your familiar seat because someone else is sitting in it. Who knows who is coming. I hope you are.
It’s time to reconnect. Time to get back together. Time to get off YouTube and worship elbow to elbow with real people. Just like heaven.
It’s going to be a fine homecoming.