Tonight is homecoming for the Hewitt Trussville Huskies. No, Anna and I did not go to high school in Trussville, but we are going to the game because there is just something special about homecoming. It’s a time for many to come back home to visit old friends and see familiar places. In short, it is a time for us to remember and celebrate former glory.
This week in worship, we will look to a homecoming of sorts. Pastor Martin Odi of Uganda will be with us, sharing his greetings from Africa and preaching God’s Word from Nehemiah 4. In this book, Nehemiah has gone home to Jerusalem, but the familiar places were in ruins. The Lord had sent him back to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, and to begin the work of restoring the city of God to her former glory. It was a work that Nehemiah was burdened for, not necessarily for the glory of a city, but for the glory of God…so he went home to Jerusalem and led the work.
With that in mind, I want you to see the fullness of what we will be doing this week. A Ugandan will preach God’s Word in Trussville, looking back on an Israelite’s homecoming, while we all look forward to the future homecoming of all God’s people. It reminds me of a pastor I recently heard, who said that the only words he wanted on his tombstone were: Be there. You see, he knew his kids would someday come to visit his grave, and he wants them to have a clear reminder that he expects them to be there at their homecoming with Jesus.
At that homecoming though, there will be a very different scene than will take place tonight at the Hewitt Trussville homecoming. Tonight, people of different ages will come back to a football stadium to see old friends, and most likely to swap stories of personal accomplishments. At our future homecoming though, we won’t be looking to see what we have made of ourselves, but instead will celebrate what Jesus has made. His accomplishments will be the only ones that matter. So whether it be tonight at a football game, or Sunday at worship, while we are looking back, let us also look forward to our glorious homecoming. And as you look forward, let me encourage you…”Be there!”