The night air begins to cool and refresh. The sounds of marching bands fill that same air; trumpets, drums, flutes, and other instruments blend so beautifully together. Parents and children excitedly purchase school supplies and new clothes. There’s a buzz. It’s almost time to go back to school!

I have to admit that, though I have been out of school for several decades, those same sensations stir my heart with many pleasant memories. It was exciting to return to school, especially college. I enjoyed being home with my family; they remain a big part of my life. But there was something unique about going back to school. I was already studying for my life’s calling as a pastor so I was comfortable there. It was exciting to see so many people who I had missed for several months: My girlfriend from Dundee (no security lapse here, folks; I married her) and friends from many more places than I can name.

Really, it was about the people. When we went back to school, it was a giant homecoming. Handshakes, hugs, and pats on the back abounded as so many reunions were celebrated. We had so much to catch up on with so many questions. “What did you do this summer?” Where did you work?” “What are you hoping to do this year?” "This year will be better, right?”

Yes, those memories wash over the years, and they still are so warm and comfortable. Homecomings are wonderful.

With that in mind, I am drawn to 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In describing the resurrection, Paul was led to write of the victory the Christian gains of eternal life in heaven. Being in the eternal presence of God will be powerful. And won’t it also be a wonderful homecoming with so many we have loved and missed along the way? Those will be powerful reunions of togetherness restored, all through the power of faith in Jesus Christ. So, if you are at a point in life where you are missing loved ones, just remember that there will be a homecoming. And it will be wonderful.

Wirsing is senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington. You may contact him at tcw1@trinluth.org

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