Yesterday was a day of celebration for our congregation. Each year in August we have a homecoming assembly, when we celebrate God’s work in and through our congregation. Yesterday marked 113 years of worship and ministry for our church. I am thankful to have had the chance yesterday to meet many former members who are a part of the legacy of our congregation, but who have moved on to other places.
Here are the thoughts I shared in my bulletin article regarding homecoming.
What a wonderful joy it is to be able to gather together today as God’s people. This day, which we have designated “homecoming,” affords us the opportunity to join together with God’s people to celebrate the past, present, and future.
We celebrate God’s work in and through this congregation for 113 years. It is a joy to welcome back many who have worshipped with us through the years and have moved on to other locations. Though we are separated from some by many miles, we celebrate the unbreakable bond we share in Jesus. While the faces and songs and building may have changed, the gospel entrusted to us is the same.
We celebrate God’s work in and through this congregation today. We celebrate the parents in our congregation whose commitment to Christ flows into a commitment to raising their children intentionally and thoughtfully, and who have worked toward such a goal by participating in a parenting class this summer. We celebrate the work of Hohenwald Christian Counseling. Due to the increase in clients seeking counseling from a Christian perspective, AGAPE will be sending a graduate counseling student as an intern with Paula Wiemers. We celebrate the lives of faithful witness being lived by our members, who in their daily routines allow Christ’s light to shine through them, whatever they do.
We celebrate with anticipation God’s work in and through this congregation in the future. We wonder how God will call us to serve our neighbors here in Lewis County. We wonder who will join us in that service. We wonder how God will work to unite followers of Jesus who have a tendency to divide. We wonder and we hope and we pray, all the while celebrating God’s promise to carry on to completion what has been started.
We celebrate with anticipation the day in which the renewal of all creation will be complete, the moment when that which began on the day of creation is fulfilled in the day of re-creation. We anticipate that day when humanity’s selfish destruction of God’s creation is eclipsed by the new heavens and the new earth, when God’s people from past, present, and future, from Jerusalem, Rome, Hohenwald, and everywhere in between, are united together in the presence of God. Today we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face!
Lastly, here is the audio of my sermon, “One More Year: God and Manure,” based on Luke 13:1-9.