Bible Studies In The Christian Library

        Every family has its traditions.  These traditions are good in that they tend to cement a family together and make a common history that can be passed on from one generation to the next.  They can be talked about to children and
grandchildren.  These traditions may seem quaint, pointless, or even silly to those outside the family, but they are important parts of the life of every family.

        The Scotts have their own traditions.  Much of it centers around the holidays. Some of it is similar to other families.  We have turkey at Thanksgiving and ham at Christmas.  We do some things that other do not, however.  We have a
"Christmas Eve Feast" on December 24th that consists of lots of goodies.  This began a number of years ago when the members at one of the congregations where I preached kept brings sweets before the holiday and we decided to have it on Christmas Eve.  It has grown from a snack of leftovers to a lavish spread!

        We have the tradition of staying home for Christmas and travelling to be with family on Thanksgiving.  Each Thanksgiving week we load up the old sedan like we are going to be away for a month instead of just a few days.  We rush hard to be with my great aunt in Clarksville, TN for the first part of Thanksgiving and then to be with Bonnie's family for Thanksgiving dinner.  Then we have to rush to be back for Sunday services and having our daughter in school on Monday. Sometimes I complain about all the rush for just a little while with family and talk about wishing we could have just one Thanksgiving at home, but we still go.  It's tradition!

        One of the nice things about this tradition is that we get to be reunited with our family, if only for just a little while.  We have never had the opportunity since I began preaching full-time to live close to either of our families so our times for visiting are few.  But Thanksgiving is a time when we can be together, especially Bonnie and her big family.  It's a wonderful time!  We all catch up on the  current news, swaps tall tales, and hear some of the same old stories that have been told for years.  But most of all it is great to just see each other again. 

        This Thanksgiving will mark the second one that my brother in law Malcom Higdon will not be with us.  Malcom, faithful gospel preacher, passed away about one and a half years ago.  Last Thanksgiving was sort of strange to not have Malcom with us.  He will always be missed, though we know that time helps heal the pain of separation.

        Malcom is not the only one missing from our homecomings.  Bonnie's father is gone.  So is my dad.  And both mine and Bonnie's grandmothers have gone over the river of death.  Christians all, they died with the hope of eternal life. 
Though we miss Malcom and these other brethren and family members we love, we have faith that we will see him someday in that great homecoming. 

        Can you imagine the wonderful homecoming it will be for faithful Christians?  Jesus told us that he was going to prepare a mansion for each of his faithful children (John 14:1-6).  Paul tells us about a day when all faithful Christians
who have died and those who are faithful at the Lord's coming will be reunited to remain together forever.

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words"  (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
        Imagine the joy that faithful Christians will share at the homecoming that we will enjoy with our brothers and sisters in the Lord who lived faithful to Him!  Remember those to whom we have said goodbye.  It is not forever!  It is only for
a brief time.  Then we will be reunited with them, never to be separated again. What a wonderful homecoming that will be!

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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