I’ve had homecoming on my mind in recent days. Two Fridays ago, Bryan County High School celebrated homecoming. Today is homecoming at my college. It has been 30 years since I graduated – I was a 9-year-old child prodigy, of course. And Sunday is homecoming at First Baptist of Pembroke.
Homecoming has not always provided me with fond memories. During my senior year in high school, our football team actually played in six homecoming games – ours, plus all five away games. You see, we had a well-deserved reputation of not being very good, and everyone wants to win his or her homecoming games. My first homecoming date, during my junior year in school, was a disaster.
But then homecoming changed for me. My first date with the lady who would become my wife was during homecoming. Back then, Shorter College did not have a football team, so homecoming was during the basketball season. I didn’t know it when I asked her, but that year’s homecoming was on her birthday. Pretty cool, huh?
Many churches have homecomings each year, too. We have our regular Sunday school and worship service, but then we almost always have what we call, “Dinner on the Grounds.” That means that we have an old-fashioned potluck dinner right after church. Just in case you don’t know it, the ladies at First Baptist in Pembroke can cook.
It is a day filled with celebration and remembrances. It is always our hope that some folks will “come back home” to worship with us on this day. These may be people who have moved away or some who just decide this is a good day to get back involved in their church.
How about you? Are you actively involved in the life of your church? The chances are that most of my readers do attend church. I’m simply trying to be realistic. The majority of people who would read a column written by a pastor probably are active in their church.
But maybe that’s not the case for you. It may be that you have dropped out for some reason or another.
I would like to encourage you to have your own homecoming celebration on Sunday. Go back to church. I promise that the roof will not cave in. I believe that you will be welcomed home warmly. God intends for us to worship with each other. I hope you will do that.
And if you are active in your church and someone heeds this advice I’m giving, make sure you are first in line to welcome back your old friend. Make them feel welcome.
Again, we need each other. God wants us to experience him in community. Jesus built the church. It belongs to him. It really is a good place to be.