OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


          Many congregations have a day of the year they call “Homecoming.”  The day is a very special day.  It is one that is eagerly anticipated.  Brothers and sisters who have called a certain congregation “home” in the past have the privilege of reuniting for a period of worship and fellowship together.  Today is OceanSide’s Homecoming.  We want to welcome everyone who has chosen to be with us.  We hope your visit is enjoyable, profitable, and memorable.

          Now that we are together, we want to exhort us to do certain things for each other.


1.     Let’s rejoice.  Being away from one another should cause our hearts to be lonely for each other.  Coming back together should fill us with joy.  The father of the prodigal son was most joyous upon his son’s return.  “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry” (Luke 15:22-23).  We are not prodigals returning home, but our reunion does call for rejoicing.


2.    Let’s forgive.  Sometimes brothers and sisters in Christ are driven from one another because of injuries, slights, and sins.  Today, let us resolve to forgive those who have harmed us.  Paul commands us to forbear with one another and to forgive one another, “if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Col. 3:13-14).


3.    Let’s encourage.  The Christian life is the best life, but it is often fraught with diffi-culties.  From time to time, each of us needs a word of encouragement.  We need to be empowered to live as Christ.  The worship services are an excellent time for each of us to do this for each other.  “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works:  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).


4.    Let’s give thanks.  One of Paul’s trademarks was to give thanks for everything positive he found within his brethren.  His epistles are filled with words like these:  “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy” (Phil. 1:3-4).  Every one of us has unique qualities and talents that make us valuable to one another.  Let us give thanks for each other always.


5.    Let’s say:  “I love you.”  Too often we hope people know that we love them.  We need to let them know it.  To say the words:  “I love you,” does not make one weak or sissy.  It shows strength of character.  When John wrote to the elect lady in II John, he opened with these words:  “The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth…” (II John 1a).  None of us is promised tomorrow.  Next year we may not be able to speak these powerful words.  Do it today!  Don’t let so much time pass that you regret not having said:  “I love you.”


6.    Let’s pray for each other.  In addition to prayers of thanksgiving, we need to offer up prayers to God’s throne on behalf of our brethren.  Paul’s prayer to the Colossians was as follows:  “For this cause also, since the day  we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:9-11).


7.   Let’s resolve to come back next year.  The church at OceanSide will continue this annual event for many years to come.  The fourth Sunday in September will always be the scheduled date.  We hope you will mark your calendar to be with us in 2013.


Brethren, we are back together like this only today.  Next year, this same crowd will not

be gathered together.  Let’s enjoy the day.  Too, let us determine to live in such a way as to be part of that Homecoming in the hereafter.  The Homecoming will never end.  The blessings of this earthly reunion will be magnified many times over and will continue forever and ever at that time.  See you there!!!