The homecomings were awesome. They’d help clean the house and made sure I was planning a big meal for him. When it was time to head to the airport Anastasia would put on her prettiest outfit and Noah his coolest shirt. They wanted his homecoming to be special.
At the airport we’d wait outside of security, look through the glass doors and randomly check the status of his flight. They'd see Mark walk around the corner and a surge of excitement would rush through their bodies causing involuntary jumping up and down. The automatic doors opened wide and Mark’s spread arms were soon filled with two children eager to see their Daddy.
Homecomings are priceless. They remind the weary traveler that they are loved and were missed.
God also loves a good homecoming and gave us a few glimpses in the Bible on how He welcomes His children home.
The prophet Elijah wholeheartedly served God. When it was time for him to pass into the next life, the Lord sent a flaming chariot and fiery horses to usher him into heaven (II Kings 2). He sent nothing but the best for His faithful servant.
I think my favorite homecoming in the Bible is Stephen’s (Acts 7). False accusations were made against him and he goes on trial before the priests. At the end of his testimony he looks toward heaven and here we read…
“He looked towards heaven, where he saw our glorious God and Jesus standing at his right side. Then Stephen said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right side of God.’” Acts 7:55,56
Death was near for Stephen but God and Jesus were looking on. Often we read of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, but here He is standing. Is He standing here as if to honor Stephen and his faithfulness? I don’t know but it seems that way to me.
This blows me away. I can’t imagine doing anything that would bring the Lord to His feet - unless it deserved discipline. Jesus standing for Stephen gives me goose bumps and challenges me to live a life that draws God’s glorious attention - one that brings Him to His feet as He welcomes me home.
Do you have any good homecoming stories?
How do you see or interpret the homecomings God throws in these two instances?