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Coming Home, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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    In just a few hours, he will be coming home. His room is ready, the plans are made, the waiting is nearly done. But it’s different being on this end of things. I’ve been the one who has traveled and returned home. I remember the joy of being home after a long trip. I never really thought that much about being on the waiting end, the longing end, of a returning child. It is an impatient wait, a restless anticipation of a greater joy.

    It’s not like we haven’t seen each other in a long time! It’s just that I miss him not being here. I’m happy for him—the friends he has made, the work he has done, the life he has built. But he has been away from me, and home is not quite the same without him. I’m anxious to have him here to enjoy the holidays—a traditional Thanksgiving meal, football, a little shopping, and just buddying around. But most of all, I am anxious to have him here with me. Home will seem a little more like home with him here.

I know he longs for the day of homecoming and reunion.
    This waiting has given me a new appreciation for a side of heaven I had never imagined. I think now about my waiting Father. He sent his Son. He watched as his Son bore great indignities and death. He has seen him triumph over the grave. He rejoiced as the Son poured out the Spirit. He has celebrated with the angels as millions have shared in the Son’s death and resurrection through faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. But now he waits. He lives in the world of expectation, anticipating the Great Feast when all of his children come home to be with him and to share in this great thanksgiving of joy.

    I guess I’ve sung “Lord come quickly, Hallelujah!” thousands of times. In all those times, I’ve never thought about how the Father hears it; how he hears our hearts being homesick for a place we’ve never been before. I know he longs for the day of homecoming and reunion, too. He yearns for the day that our faith becomes sight and we can see him face to face in all his glory. He anticipates the day when he will receive us as his fully adopted children. Unlike us, he knows when that day will occur, but he doesn’t let anyone else know. It’s his surprise! The only reason he waits is so that our feast can be bigger and his banquet hall will be full of children. But I now imagine that it is hard for him to wait to have me home.

    Until that day, every time I wait for my children to come home, I will remember that I have a waiting Father, too. This Father is happy for me—the friends I have made, the work I have done, the life I have built. After all, these gifts have really come from him. I know he is anxious to have me home to enjoy the celebration with him. I know my Brother Jesus has prepared a room for me in the Father’s house. I know the day of going home, the day of great thanksgiving, will come. Most of all, I now realize that he is even more excited than I am, for me to come home. I can even imagine that occasionally, as he hears me sing “Jesus is Lord,” he sings back to me, “Child, come home quickly, Hallelujah!”


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