Monday, July 10, 2023

Welcome Home

 As we sang “Just As I Am” he walked to the front of the church and into the open arms of our Pastor. He came in response to the invitation to receive the gift of eternal life- the one spoken by Pastor Butch and the one gently whispered to his heart by the Holy Spirit. 

At the close of the service we followed the rest of the congregation down to the front of the church to extend to him the “right hand of fellowship.” One after another the church welcomed him into the family. Some with a clasp of the hands - but most with a warm embrace. Truly, nothing else would have done in response to this young man.

He stood, overwhelmed by what had just happened and by the genuine warmth of the welcome into a family now his own. He thanked each one as the tears he couldn’t hold back streamed down his cheeks. Tears that spoke so many hidden things, and a tentative smile born of joy. 

I haven’t been able to get the image of this gentle “sheep” making his way home to the One who loves him and died for him. Have I been a believer so long that I’ve forgotten the miracle, the wonder, the absolute joy and relief of falling into the arms of Jesus. Have I taken it for granted? Oh, I don’t ever want to do that. 

May I, may we, be forever grateful for the wondrous miracle of redemption. May we never become complacent about the priceless gift given at incalcuable cost.