Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Homecoming

I mentally envision it being something like the old-fashioned Homecoming that I would attend with my family in Kentucky. The date would be set and everyone was invited who had moved away. It would be a day to return to rekindle special friendships, share a meal, sing some songs, and remember those who had gone on to Heaven. Children would be more grown-up. Newly weds would have babies. Some would look older. Some never changed. My father especially loved the fact that the best dishes from every home would arrive for the noonday meal. One year was special - my parent's church celebrated their 100-year anniversary. My mother made herself a long, turn-of-the-century dress with a hat to match. She labored over pictures and displays with other women of the church so that all who returned to celebrate could look at their lives with a fresh glimpse of the past. They would be glad that they had attended.
This Sunday, I will return to the church in Atlanta where Mike and our family attended for 20+ years. It is not "Homecoming" at the church - I guess those have gone out of style. There won't be picture albums or my mother's lemon meringue pies ( I wish!), but it will be a homecoming for me. I will walk into the beautiful sanctuary where my three children were baptized. I will admire the beautiful crystal chandelier and the serene white of the entire sacred place. I will see people I know and love. It will be like home. And I will share with those who attend the beautiful story of Megan, our oldest daughter who is one who has already "gone home."
I find it so appropriate to be invited to return to the church that taught her so well. Through Sunday School and mission trips, youth group and worship, Megan fell in love with Jesus at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church. Who could not fall in love as Miss Connie, an elderly, beloved Sunday School teacher would greet every child on Sunday by taking their hand and holding each finger spell out L-O-V-E- love? Who could keep from loving the antics of those crazy youth group directors? And who could not feel loved by the many who came alongside my child to encourage her to grow in God's love?
It is out of gratitude for all that was done for my children and our family that I return to speak this Sunday. Oh, it might be a little emotional for me to walk through the doors again - remember all the special times we shared as a family of five. Maybe it will be a closeness I feel - of knowing that those who have gone home are waiting for us to come to them. I don't know, but I would like to invite you to be there with us as we launch the book, When God Comes Near.
Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church
2715 Peachtree Road in Buckhead at the corner of Peachtree and Wesley
4:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
This event is open to the community, so please come and invite a friend to join you!
When God Comes Near will be available for purchase ($16 per copy). Marcia will speak, read excerpts from her book, and answer audience questions in the Second-Ponce Sanctuary starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by a book signing and reception in the Fellowship Hall.