Today’s Reading: John 20:17 (NIV)
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
My mother looks forward to homecoming every summer in Mississippi. It is a time when she gets to visit with her extended family and friends in the town where she grew up. She can't wait to wave at and hug the stuffing out of all of her cousins, nieces and nephews. If you’ve ever attended a family reunion, or a homecoming football game at school, you can easily get caught up in the sheer excitement of the moment. Have you ever done a homecoming wave? It involves everyone in the stadium. You can see it coming from afar, and all of a sudden, you are up and cheering, waving your hands high above your head in tandem with everyone around you. Homecoming brings us back to the place where we began, to the ones we know and love. There is nothing quite like the experience of a homecoming wave.
In Jewish tradition and law, harvest time is a joyful time, when the first fruits are gathered in from the field. Moses instructed the people to celebrate the beginning of harvest by offering up a sheath of its first fruits, also known as the wavesheath offering to the Lord (Leviticus 23:9-14). This offering is given only once a year, following the Passover observance. It is offered in thankful praise to God as the one true giver of the harvest. The waving of the sheath (which was performed by the high priest) marks the beginning of the work that leads to an early harvest.
When Mary saw Jesus that morning in the garden, He told her not to cling to Him physically because He had not yet risen to His Father. He was preparing for His homecoming wave; Christ had become the physical wavesheath offering, marking the beginning of the great harvest of souls.
Can you imagine what the praises must have sounded like coming from heaven, as Jesus ascended that very first time before the Father’s throne? It must have been the most amazing homecoming wave ever! In my mind’s eye, I can clearly see the heavenly host bowing down and praising the Lamb all in one voice. Sin and death has been conquered forever! Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing (Revelation 5:12).
The wavesheath offering has been offered and harvest time has begun. Soon, we will all experience the eternal wave of the sheath, when we see Jesus for the very first time, high and lifted up, sitting at the right of the Father. Friends, He is waving us home. It is a spectacular homecoming celebration that you do not want to miss. Ask Jesus Christ to become Lord of your life today. Do it now! Christ will forgive your sins, cleanse you from all unrighteousness, and raise you up on the day of the great homecoming. Harvest time is just around the corner, and it will be here before we know it. Are you ready to rise?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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