I’m a church baby.

Since I was weeks old, I was in the church and this remained a constant for the majority of my life until recently.

More on that later….

A few months ago I went back for an afternoon service at the church I spent my teenage and the early part of my young adult life attending. The service was a Homecoming Service. A homecoming service, if you don’t know, is where a church invites past members back for fellowship. People may leave a church for many different reasons including spiritual ones, or being sent out for leadership roles, to name a few. Whatever the intention, we are all called back to where we call home, or at least our first one.

The church was packed, standing room only. The atmosphere was electric, which was odd, because I really honestly don’t like services like these. I love reuniting with friends I haven’t seen and reminiscing a bit, but I always find myself in a time warp. You see, I left seeking something, which at the time I didn’t feel my home church gave me. There was no ill against anyone, because I loved my church family. But I was young and searching, so in my mid-twenties I left to join an up and coming vibrant church which was total opposite of what I was leaving.

From the time I left my home church, I would go back hear and there for different functions and for the most part it was status quo. But this night was different. The hugs meant more; the “good to see you’s” hit the heart differently. I didn’t see the “Church Game” some people play. Something was very different. But I couldn’t quite put my hand on what made this night different than others.

This was more than a homecoming. This was the manifestation of a solid spiritual foundation that enlarged it’s territory and that territory came back to offer up to God their multiplied talents.

As the program of the service went on, a video presentation was playing with pictures of past and current members of the church family. It was something to see the past members that are no longer with us. But as I looked I couldn’t help but think of the legacy and foundation those members left and laid. I’m watching the video and seeing my peers as children, now active ministers, pastors and leaders in the church. I see where the legacy and foundation has benefited all of us, not just in church but also in life. We were taught and trained not only the Word of God, but how to live a life. Our leaders instilled biblical principles in us, by which we could succeed, if we continued to stand on them.

And on this night all of that was apparent.

Like I stated before, service was electric and for me I was overcome by the presence of the Lord in the room (basically I cried like a baby). There was a euphoria that ushered in praise even without the minister delivering his sermon. And at one moment it felt as though time was merging and you could feel the prayers of the members that went on before us, along with the remaining foundation members, feeble in body but strong in spirit joining in and encompassing the church in the glory of the Lord.

This was more than a homecoming. This was the manifestation of a solid spiritual foundation that enlarged it’s territory and that territory came back to offer up to God their multiplied talents.

I stated earlier that church has been a part of my life up until recently. When I left my home church for that vibrant other church, I still had my solid foundation. But what I found (nearly 20+ years later) was the building material of the vibrant other church used atop of my solid foundation was questionable. I left that church wounded and hurt, which left what was being built destroyed, and it turned me off to God and His people.

To not make this longer than it needs be…..

Thankfully, my relationship with Christ was repaired while attending a recent Tres Dias retreat (a retreat I strongly recommend for anyone reading this post), but still weary of His people I had not looked seriously for a new church home to be active in. I was a great visitor of churches until my daughter invited me to her new church….which is now my family’s home church.
But something about that night…

After enjoying what the service had to offer I still left with the questions, “Why is this night different?” and “Why did I feel this way?” It wasn’t until I was on my way home driving in the car that I could hear clearly what the Lord was saying to me.

He was reminding me of where I came from, who I am in Him and the foundation I still have within me. And even before I could enjoy and thank Him for that revelation He said….”Now Build!”

Words can’t explain how that shook me, but one thing is for sure, I have some work to do.

until then…

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