Church 'Homecomings' are special services usually set on the anniversary date of the founding of the church. Services are normally themed to acknowledge those saints who not only founded the church but over the years have contributed to the well being of the church and the body of believers. The services can also be a great aid in drawing the body of believers closer to God, one another and the church.Our pastor preached about the older generation and the next generation, from 2 Chronicles where David was handing the reins over to his son Solomon.
After services, we had a pot luck lunch in the Fellowship hall, and also outside under tents, for the overflow. The buffet line is long and the table is laden with green bean casseroles, pork, fried chicken, and jello salads of all kinds, as well as many plates of deviled eggs. In other words, lots of cuisine representative of the South and it's all delicious.
I stood in the slow-moving buffet line next to a young man who is a member of our church. He teaches the college and career class and he is of college and career age himself. I like talking with him because he likes talking of Jesus. So do I. He said that he was reading John 1:16,
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
He said he was pondering that. All the examples of grace the Lord has given us. I started pondering that too, while he was saying it. It's a good thing to ponder. Then he said he read a passage in Mark,
And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. (Mark 13:20)
He said, that's grace. Jesus did not have to shorten the days. He didn't have to give that grace, in order that some survive. He would be justified to slay all flesh on earth. Grace upon grace.
|David with the head of Goliath. Caravaggio.|
I thought about it on the drive home. I thought that definitely was a good example of the John verse. And I thought of another example of Jesus' grace. Though we bemoan the liberal and often unfocused nature of the youth's worship, and we know that many of that age are leaving the fold, and we also sadly know that many aren't saved at all but are only looking for the next high (and it just happens to be Jesus for a moment), in His grace, He does send us the next generation of men. He raises up youths with a hunger for the word, with intent and focus and joy. He graces us with the knowledge that though today's Christianity is being revealed to be false, the core is strong. The root is there bearing graceful fruit. Jesus is always going to raise up a generation for His holy name.
We know God raised up older men like Noah and Abraham and Moses, but he also raised up youths. He anointed David king as a youth, used Daniel for His name, gave us young Timothy, established young Jeremiah as His prophet. (Jeremiah 1:6-7). He is still raising up young men.
Find them, nurture them, encourage them. They're there. The gates of hell will not prevail against His church, and so, there is always a strong generation coming up.
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:11-16).