, Muskogee, OK

October 14, 2013

Homecoming reminds us what’s important

By Barrett Vanlandingham
Fort Faith

— What are the odds that two “drama queens” would come out of one family?

Well, it happened to me (though not in the same year), and I could not have been more proud to walk Gracie (daughter #2) across the field before Friday’s homecoming football game in Fort Gibson.

Ashton (daughter #1) had her time in the spotlight in 2011. She graciously took pictures of her sister this time around.

From my perspective, the whole day was just perfect, from the parade, right down to Gracie’s fluffy, pink Cinderella dress, tiara, glamorous eyelashes and nails.

Twenty-eight queens in all represented the various school organizations.

They all looked spectacular, and their families were all beaming as they should have been.

As thrilling as the homecoming royalty scene was for all of us, there is a kingdom that surpasses our imagination.

And to say that it is a royal kingdom would be the greatest understatement of all, since the glory of God our Creator will shine there forever! (Rev. 21:22)

What a glorious homecoming day, when we at last reunite with all the faithful who have gone on before us.

Just think of the thrill of being in the presence of angels singing “holy holy holy” to God.

And just think about when you, and your family and friends who also trusted and obeyed God’s will, see heaven for the first time. Imagine thinking to yourself, “It was worth it!”

A school homecoming is pretty special all right. But our thoughts as Christians should be on preparing for that heavenly homecoming.

What a tragedy it would be for someone to promote, groom, and prepare their children for earthly successes only to find out on judgment day they should have spent more time helping them understand spiritual matters.

Jesus says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul (Matthew 16:26, NASB)?”

You see, all along that man should have been working for eternal rewards for him (and his family) instead focusing on earthly, inferior, and temporary rewards (Matthew 6:19-21).

Fort Gibson has about two dozen places of worship in and around our town available for folks to be a part of, even more in Muskogee.

Each of these groups has an incredible responsibility to teach the truth according to the Bible.

That is a tremendous challenge that must be taken seriously, for all ministers and other church leaders.

But in a lot of cases, parents or other family members are the ones who will have the greatest influence when it comes to a child’s success, spiritually, which is the most important accomplishment with rewards in this life, and the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8).

Because of God’s grace, there is a reward in store for those faithful Christians who practice Godly qualities.

Peter says, “Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11, NLT).”    Now THAT will be the ultimate homecoming.

Have a great week!