Welcome Home

Posted on 11/12/2017 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***

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lyrics by Henry van Dyke
music by Ludwig van Beethoven

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.

by Benjamin R. Faust

The Spirit of the Lord
comes before morning
Bringing a Wind of Change

The Spirit of the Lord
comes before morning
Bringing a Wind of Change

Change me
Spirit change me
Holy Spirit
let Your Wind blow

Change me
come and change me
Holy Spirit
let Your Wind blow

by Frances J. Crosby

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***

Father, thank You for Your presence here with us. Thank You for being who You are and for loving us. Thank You for welcoming us into Your family and for welcoming those home who have traveled far to get to where You are and where You want them to be. We love You, Father. We want to do Your will. Guide our steps and our lives with grace, mercy, and love. We pray these things in Jesus' name, Amen.

Please be seated.

I want to thank you all for coming here. For joining us in worship. For joining me in this fireside chat. I titled it Welcome Home.

Yesterday was November 11th, the day in the United States that we thank our service men and women for their past service and also for those who are still servicing. It is an important day for me. Not only because I am pretty patriotic. I love being an American! It is because I have relatives that have served and are still serving in the military. I have two cousins and an uncle that have served. Though there may be more that I am unaware of right now.

This thanking men and women who have served my country got me thinking about something. I started thinking about the welcome home part. The part when the husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, cousin, niece, nephew, etc etc...walks in the door and gets THE BIGGEST welcome home they have been waiting for! So many hugs. So many conversations at once. Everyone loves those, right? Where their loved ones welcome them back from so far away...for so long they had been gone and now they had returned.

This also got me thinking about prodigals. When people go off to be alone for whatever reason and their families and friends miss them. Maybe these people feel guilty for something or they just don't feel like they measure up to the expectations people put on them. Maybe life has gotten them down and they don't know how to get up.

For whatever reason, these prodigals are far away for days, weeks, years at a time...and they don't know it, but they are missed. Someone misses them! And when they return, there is such rejoicing!

It reminds me of the times when people finally...FINALLY...come to Father God and want to enter into His family. They have been lost and blind and couldn't find their way, but they are led by someone who cared enough to show them the way to Him! How much rejoicing is there in heaven when one comes to Him who loves so much? I wonder...and I can almost see it and hear it!

The clapping. The laughter. The joy. The praise. The Hallelujahs! Praise God! The angels break into song! It would be electric. It would be contagious...their joy, their praise, their shouts. It would overflow...the smiles that beam with radiance and pure joy...

To know that this one that was lost is now found...they were blind but now they see...Nothing....nothing...can truly describe the overwhelming happiness to know that when we come to God after our long prodigal journey He stands with His arms wide open saying “WELCOME HOME” in a booming voice that shakes the earth. Can you hear Him?

I ask you...what are you waiting for? He is there. He is waiting. Come to Him! Get the biggest welcome home party you've ever experienced when you join the family of God.

I will tell you this. It is not an easy road to travel. It has its ups and downs, but you will never be alone. God is with you. We, your family in Christ Jesus, are with you. Come. Come and join us.

I want us to take some time to search our hearts. To find ourselves willing vessels to obey God and to lead others into His family. He does not wish any to perish, but He has made a way for us all to live with Him for eternity. Please don't pass Him by.

If you need ministry or prayer for any reason, please instant message one of us on the ministry team and we will help you in any way we can.

If you wish to message the pastors, please go to almcyberchurch.org and click on the pastors' offices there and leave us a message. We will reply as soon as we can.

After our time here at the altar, we will have a time of fellowship up the stairs to your left. All are invited to join us.

If you need to leave, you may do so at any time.

May God bless you this week.
May He who welcomes all in His family welcome you and yours today and always.