ABC Homecoming – November 3-4, 2012
God’s Gifts to and Through His People

Saturday Events:
5:00 PM – ABCers join the community at Altadena’s 125th Birthday Party, Farnsworth Park Recreation Building
7:00 PM – ABC Talent Show (at church) – Members of the ABC congregation share their (sometimes surprising, sometimes quirky) talents for an evening of fun, desserts, fellowship

Sunday Events:
9:30 AM – Sunday School for all ages
11:00 AM – Morning Worship Service Theme: “God’s Gifts to and Through His People”
12:30 PM – Homecoming Potluck Dinner, featuring food from many lands and cultures

We hope many former ABCers will make a special effort to join us for this celebration of God’s continuing witness through the gifts of the people he has called to be part of this fellowship of believers.

* * * * * * * * *

In the Old Testament, we read about a special “homecoming” in the life of the patriarch Jacob. Nearly thirty years after his first encounter with God at a place called Bethel, Jacob was summoned back by a direct word from the Lord (Genesis 35:1). Jacob obeyed, saying to his family,

“Come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” (verse 3)

When he arrived, he reminisced about his youthful jealous struggles with his brother Esau, and he realized how much God had helped him grow since then. He visited the very spot where he had a vision of angels climbing up and down a ladder between heaven and earth, and where God had made wonderful promises to him (Genesis 28:11-22). He humbly bowed by the grave of his wife’s nurse Deborah, which reminded him of his earlier life of intimacy with Rachel and their joint journey of raising numerous children (Genesis 35:8). And at that “homecoming” Jacob had a fresh encounter with God in the very place where his faith first blossomed. This time God gave him a new name, marking a rebirth in his spiritual journey. That name was Israel! The rest of the Bible is the story of God’s people who carried on that name and who, finally brought forth Jesus, the Messiah, the Redeemer.

I’m not suggesting that your returning to ABC for Homecoming 2012 will be as momentous as Jacob’s return to Bethel. The only ladder you’re likely to see is the one we used in painting our new elevator shaft. And you probably won’t receive a revelation that God is going to make you the parent of a whole new nation of faith. But you might be surprised at how God may touch when you see some of the same people and places that were a blessing to your spiritual life in the past. Who knows?