Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welcome Home

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Colossians 3:23-24

A couple years ago Chris Daughtry (of American Idol fame) cut a smash hit with "I'm Going Home" which I still believe is played every 5 seconds somewhere on the airwaves of Denver. I must admit I love the song and usually find myself upping the volume just a hair when it is playing. A combination of Chris' vocals, the powerful lyrics, and well written music accompanied with my thoughts of a home beyond this life, gives me goosebumps every single time.
This Saturday was yet another moment of goosebumps and thoughts of home. I had the privilege of working at Buckley Air Force Base over the weekend and an experience I'll never forget. I was honored to witness about 150 Marine Reservists being welcomed by 300 loved ones who had prepared an excellent homecoming. Upon arrival and the opening of the cargo bay doors of their C-130, all the Marines were met with clapping and cheering that shook my quiet working quarters in the corner of the hangar. What an awesome site to see when four new mommies and their newborns greeted the new daddies who had not yet had the opportunity to kiss or hold their blessings. As the activities made their way into the hangar I saw an older couple standing by the roped off section of the hangar. I went over and asked if they were here to greet a family member and they said they were here with friends whose son just got back. The lady was sobbing and just so excited to see the troops and she told me it reminded her of when her husband got back from an 8 month tour from Vietnam, 42 years ago! She said it felt as if it happened yesterday. She contrasted this joyous occasion with her husband's which was filled with jeers rather than cheers. The atmosphere back then was such that many of our troops were hated for their service in southeast Asia.
As I thought back to the events which led up to this great celebration, I couldn't help but think of how our Lord has prepared a place for us on our homecoming. When we arrive, how many saints will be there in complete jubilation for our arrival? Just like the lady I met, I believe the celebration of the faithful entering through the front door of heaven will never get old. Our inheritance will come from faithful, dedicated service saturated with grace and mercy that can only be granted by the One who gave us our marching orders; The Supreme Commander-in-Chief, God Almighty!

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