by J. F. Carter
I remember the first homecoming day I was a part of, twenty-five years ago in Kentucky. The lesson from the preacher thrilled me because of the way he spoke the Word of God in a bold and loving way. And, oh, how I loved the basket dinner under the old oak trees beside the building, and how the best dish that was partaken of that day was not the food but the talking, the laughter-the fellowship that was being served freely for all to partake. At this first homecoming I was a visitor, looking on and enjoying, but not knowing what to think of these people.
Two weeks after that day I became one of them, a believer in Christ. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:26,27).
Many of you, like myself, will take part in homecomings this year. It may be of schoo ls, or churches, or families. As we look back and remember days gone by, we will come to realize that we may go to homecomings, but we can never return to the past and how things used to be.
Over the years, as I have gone back to that church in Kentucky, I have many times felt sadness as I have seen many of the seats empty of the brethren that have died over the last twenty-five years. Even the oaks that were beside the building are no longer there, and yes, someday the building itself will cease to stand. The only true homecoming that we know of is eternal-the home that is prepared for us by Jesus Christ. John 14:2-3: "In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and I will receive you unto myself; that where I am there you may be also."