take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce… and say to the priest in office, “I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.” (Deut 26:2-3)
Today is the Kakumba Home Coming Sunday, and we welcome in a special way those who are ‘coming home’. It is a great think to look back at a journey that has brought us this far, reminisce, and celebrate. True, the journey may not have been smooth all the way, but every experience and every patch and every corner was a learning opportunity. Now we have the space to put the lessons together and make them a thrust for the life ahead as we seek to advance in life and fulfill our callings. The indicators of arrival – whether it is a stop-over or a final arrival – include rest, refreshment and revival. Today’s key Scripture above calls the Jews to go and make offerings before they enjoy these three gifts.
The children of Israel were finally gathered into the Promised Land, after going through many challenging years of hard life in the wilderness wanderings. Many didn’t make it there, but those who arrived were full of testimonies and memories of all that the Lord had done for this chosen race. It was too much to tell in one event, and that’s why by law they had to celebrate the arrival into the Promised Land (the In-gathering) every year with a one-week long Feast; this was also called the Feast of Tabernacles, which reminded them that as they went through it all in the wilderness, they dwelt in temporary shelters. At such a feast, Jesus taught many things and multitudes put their faith in Him. But some sinners were also there! One woman caught in the act of adultery towards the end of the feast was brought to Jesus and to her and to those who brought her Jesus preached covertly and overtly, ‘go and sin no more’. Many lives were thus transformed.
The fulfillment of the Feast of In-gathering in Jesus Christ will be when the children of God will finally be gathered into the final Promised Land in heaven. Imagine saying these words before Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest, saying them with the knowledge that you have arrived into eternity for good: ‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.’ I reckon this will be such a great moment, and those who arrive will be the real harvest – the wheat and not the tares, those who did not defile themselves, purchased from among mankind, no lie was found in their mouths, they are blameless (Rev. 14:4).
The promise is sure and the hope is living. There will be great celebration and it will last endless ages. The Lord himself will receive us and say, “Welcome Home!” and nourish us with perfect rest, refreshment and revival. The joyful feast today is a foretaste –