Summary: This was the Homecoming Message delivered to Victory Church. This sermon deals with forgiveness, trust, re-building families, and general Christian love.
Homecoming Service 2011 At Victory
Preached by John Daniel Johnson
Welcome the 167th Birthday Celebration of our wonderful church here at Victory. I cannot explain it, but there is something simple marvelous about Homecomings.
Homecoming can be defined as a time the congregation reflects upon the works of God in the past and the hopeful anticipation that He will continue to bless us in the future.
I have overheard many of you talking already this morning, speaking of how you remembered the old color of the carpet, or the old pews. Some of you have remembered old friends or family members that have now gone on to be with the Lord. Some of you have even said that you can remember, way back when, when an old wood stove heater used to sit in the center of the church. Today many of you remember the eatings that took place on the old outdoor tables. Some of you may remember some of the old revivals, singings, and Christmas plays that took place here. Others may remember that it was at this altar that you knelt down and invited Jesus to become the Lord of your life. Others may remember being washed in that very baptismal waters. Oh, this place is simply filled with great, cherished memories. Can someone say, “Thank you, Jesus for your blessings on me!”
Even though this place has had numerous great days, it has also had its share of bad one also. An old saying says, “You can’t have the good without first knowing the bad.” An old Jewish proverb says, “He that can’t endure the bad will not live to see the good.”
Yes, we are human and often times we have failed in being the most Christlike in this place. We’ve seen the church divided over various things. We’ve seen people get upset, and people get their feelings hurt. We’ve seen discouragments, and we’ve seen frustration. But through it all, the Lord has been with us every step of the way.
Many consider Homecoming a time to remember, but my friend there is no use in bringing back up those memories if we are not affected in some way by it. When we remember accepting Christ at this old altar, we ought to be given a reason to shout praises unto God. When we remember the wise advice we were given from an old saint, we ought to practice what was taught. If we remember something that we said in anger or frustration, we need to let them old feelings go now.
There is one predominate Scripture that deals with Homecoming. I will not be preaching from this today, but I simply want to give you the meaning behind it. Remember the prodigal son, who took his inheritance, and went out into the world and squandered it. After sinking to rock bottom, he realized how good it was back in his Father’s house, so he decided that he would rather be a servant in his Father’s house than live the way that he was living. Do you remember what happened as the son returned home? If you remember the Father ran out to meet the son, and had his servants prepare a beautiful meal to welcome his son home. Why would a father act so kindly to his son, after his son treated him so wrongly? Because the father’s love for him, canceled out the wrong.
Life is full of things we wished we could redo or take back.
It reminds me a of a story of a woman who opened the door of a building and was about to step outside when she heard a voice saying, "Don’t take that next step or you’ll regret it." She paused and a brick came crashing to the pavement right where she would have been standing. She looked around and there was no one nearby.
The next day this woman was about to step into the street when she heard this same voice say, "Don’t take that next step or you’ll regret it." As she paused a truck came racing by and smashed into a nearby vehicle. She knew if she hadn’t listened to that voice she would have been hurt badly, or maybe even killed.
She looked behind her and there was no one nearby. "All right," she said , "Who are you ?" "I’m your guardian angel. I’ve sent here to protect you from making fatal mistakes" the voice replied. "Oh, if that’s the case," the woman said, "Where were you on my wedding day?"
Sometimes we have regrets over decisions we have made. Or perhaps we may regret things we have said. Have you ever heard of the name, Dan Quayle. He was the vice president under the first George Bush. He will forever be remembered for something he said that I bet he wished he could take back. He once said, “I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.”