Created on Sunday, 20 March 2016 12:00
Growing up in the Chicago area, I learned to play wherever I could find a spot. More often than not, the baseball diamond ended up on the street, with home and second on the dotted center line and first and third at the curb. It wasn’t too bad unless I needed to slide into second or a car passed and drove over home plate. The whole neighborhood was a playground, and life, especially during the summer, seemed to move so slowly. But everything would jolt back to reality when one of the moms leaned out her back door and called out, Son, it’s time to come home! Often the standard response was to pretend you couldn’t hear her. As you can imagine, that reply didn’t go over too well.
During the past twenty years of ministry, I’ve watched many people being called home. Not necessarily to the big Home in heaven, but back to the place where they belong. Sometimes they are the frustrated family with a teen whose life is out of control. They show up at the church door, the expressions on the parents’ faces and the lack of expression on the teen’s saying it all. Things have gone too far, and they want the church to “fix” the child.
But by and large, children are reflections of the home. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. With Sunday morning soccer replacing Sunday school and family prayer preempted by prime-time TV, many of our children have no spiritual roots. How can they come home to what they’ve never known?
It’s time for the people of America to come home to where they belong—with God. In the old days it was called revival. Call it what you will, it looks like a senior who says, I’ve ignored God long enough. I’m going to meet Him soon, and I would sure like to know Him before I get there. It is the parent of the rebellious teen who says to the young person, I can’t make you do right and many of your problems are from the way I raised you. I’m truly sorry, but I’m turning back to God, and I sure hope you’ll follow me. It is the parents of young children who realize they are not providing for their children what was given to them, a spiritual heritage. And it is the young person who says, I don’t know where my parents are with this God thing, but I want to follow Him.
As a child, I hated that call home at the end of the evening. I always wanted to stay out later to play. As an adult, my mother long gone, I’d give just about anything to hear her voice call out again, Son, it’s time to come home. Is there a voice today calling you home? Maybe you want to play a little longer, or maybe you just feel too tired to respond. If God is calling you back to Him, there is still hope. The prophet Isaiah encouraged the people to Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6). Even the Prodigal Son knew that no matter how bad things had gotten, he could always go home to his father. The time to come home is now.