I grew up in a home where my parents drove separately to church. My dad was the preacher and often he would need to be at church earlier then my mother. At least that was the reason in part. My mom had 5 children that she needed to attend to plus she always had Sunday lunch to prepare.
In our church there was much chatter after a service. These days it seems like many places of worship have several services, so people are leaving quickly to make room for the next group to enter.
But us?…we just lingered.
For the children that meant that we had time to play in the basement corners or in the fellowship hall, where the curtains hung. We would sneak in the bathrooms and pull pranks on the unsuspecting adults. Or giggle as we told secrets up in the balcony.
But when it came time to go I always wanted to go with the parent who was leaving last. That way it didn’t cut into my shenanigan time. The only problem was sometimes my parents would think I had left with the other…this was before the days of cell phones…so they would naturally assume I was with the other one. Or so they told me. I choose to believe it.
And there I would stand waiting at the door. I still remember the frame of the window I peered through.
The custodian would make a call from the church phone to our home letting them know I was there. I watched for our vehicle in anticipation that my ride would soon be arriving. My imagination would go wild as I wondered if the rapture had happened and the custodian and I were the only two that hadn’t been taken.
Through the years I have felt left behind. When my friends were getting married first or when I didn’t get invited to an event I felt I should have. Sometimes I wondered if I had been forgotten.
Have you ever felt forgotten?
Like no one remembers you?
Do you Know Jesus felt that way?
When he was hanging on the cross he called to his Father in heaven.
“Eloi Eloi, lama, sabachthani?” Which means, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some scholars believe that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy by repeating Psalm 22. And even though they are a lot smarter than I am I think that’s incorrect.
I think Jesus felt forgotten.
I believe that for a moment he felt like everyone, including his Father had turned away.
And he felt alone.
I believe it stung.
But we know that in the end, He was not forgotten.
Because the grave is empty.
And I know that we too, are not forgotten..
For the same power that raised Christ resides in each person who trusts in him.
It’s Thanksgiving, and maybe you feel alone.
Even in a crowded room.
But know this…
You are not.
There is one who knows every single strand of hair that remains on your head.
He knows you and loves you.
And if you ask him he will come and make his home with you.
He will never leave or forsake any of his children.
And that is a promise that makes me feel Thankful on this Thanksgiving Day.