Homecoming by Carolyn Webb
What comes to mind when you think of "homecoming"? Some might think of their homecoming dance or coming home from a business trip. The most emotional homecomings I can think of are for soldiers who are safely returning from their tour of duty.
Jesus’ ascension is like that. He had been away from home for 33 years tirelessly fighting for our freedom from Satan, sin, and death. His death and resurrection won our freedom; and forty days later, it was time for this victorious warrior to go home. Can you imagine the homecoming celebration in heaven?
Jesus’ homecoming is reason for us to celebrate too. Before he died, Jesus spoke to his disciples about his ascension: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3 NIV)
Eventually, we will be able to go to the heavenly home that Jesus has prepared for us. That will be greater than any homecoming we have experienced!
There at my Savior’s side – Heav’n is my home -
I shall be glorified; Heav’n is my home.
There are the good and blest, Those I love most and best,
And there I, too, shall rest; Heav’n is my home.
(I’m But a Stranger Here, CW 417-vs.3)
Keep pedaling! You can do it! by Karen Spiegelberg
In springtime, the rubber literally meets the road for young children with new bicycles. I enjoy seeing the little ones out on their shiny bikes with training wheels. Eventually, they graduate to two wheels. That’s when the parents get physically involved! They’ll run alongside as the bike wobbles down the road. They huff and puff trying to keep up and cheering, “Keep pedaling! You can do it!” There will be joy when the child masters that bicycle, but there will also be agony in the process including a few bumps and bruises. In either event, the parent is there with a happy hug or a boo-boo kiss.
That young child’s experience reminds me of my faith journey on earth! Thankfully, the Lord is like that caring parent running alongside me. When life’s challenges are few, he whispers, “You see… with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). When the curves in the road throw me into uncertainty, he whispers louder, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). And a confidence in his purpose for me serves as a way to take away the pain. As I persevere in wheeling down the road of life attempting to always live for him in thanks for what he has done for me, I hear him yelling ever so loudly, “Keep pedaling! You can do it! ‘And surely I am with you always…’” (Matthew 28:20)