If you follow this blog or are a member of our church, you know that the theme for 2015 is “Welcome Home.” This has been an exciting year for the Apostolics of Abingdon. Some new folks have found a home with us and we as a congregation have found a church home.
We are now in the closing quarter of 2015 and we are believing there are others who are searching for a place to call home. I realize I’m being repetitive from previous posts in restating the definition, but the word “home” has been defined as “any place of residence or refuge.” The phrase “at home” means “in a situation familiar to one; at ease.” To me, home is a place where you are comfortable. It’s a place where you can just be yourself and also allow those who share that space the same privilege. It is a place where love is given and love is received. Home is a place where others can come in and feel that “homey” atmosphere.
Experience has taught me that home doesn’t have to be fancy to be home. Home doesn’t have to be in the nicest of subdivisions to be home. It doesn’t have to have fine furniture to be home. It pertains more to the environment than the edifice. It’s the feeling; the comfort. Home is a place where you know you belong.
It is with this in mind that we are presenting the “Yellow Ribbon Revival.” To the best of my research, the yellow ribbon stems from a story of two men in a railroad train. One was so reserved that his companion had difficulty in persuading him to talk about himself. He was, he said at length, a convict returning from five years’ imprisonment in a distant prison, but his people were too poor to visit him and were too uneducated to be very articulate on paper. Hence he had written to them to make a sign for him when he was released and came home. If they wanted him, they should put a white ribbon in the big apple tree which stood close to the railroad track at the bottom of the garden, and he would get off the train, but if they did not want him, they were to do nothing and he would stay on the train and seek a new life elsewhere. He said that they were nearing his home town and that he couldn’t bear to look. His new friend said that he would look and took his place by the window to watch for the apple tree which the other had described to him.In a minute he put a hand on his companion’s arm. “There it is,” he cried. “It’s all right! The whole tree is white with ribbons” (www.loc.gov/folklife/ribbons/ribbons.html).
It appears this evolved through time and various usages, most often soldiers returning home from war, to the familiar “welcome home ribbon” being yellow in color. However it originated, most associate the yellow ribbon as a sign of someone desiring the return of another to their rightful place. That’s exactly what we want you to think when you pass by the church and see the ribbons, read the blog, or come inside and see the ribbon before you. That’s what we want you to feel when we greet you on the street or shake your hand as you are our guest. We want you to understand no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you are welcome with us.
Maybe you are a prodigal that once attended church or you’ve always kept your distance from church, we welcome you. The ribbons are going up soon. Don’t be like the released prisoner, afraid to look. Look over our way and understand you are loved, then come on in and experience the warmth and welcome of some fellow prisoners that have been set free and “free indeed” (John 8:36).
We are located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Economy Inn and Skyland Coin and Jewelry. Parking is available on the right side of the church as well as overflow parking at Skyland Coin and Jewelry. We are currently engaged in Revival services with Evangelist Nathan Carrier of Salina, Kansas. Join us for Sunday Word and Worship at 2:00 P.M. with pre-service prayer at 1:30. We look forward to seeing you!