It’s October and that means schools and colleges across the country are celebrating homecomings with tailgate parties, home team spirit, backyard BBQs, parades, and big-screen TVs. As much fun as all this sounds, I want to talk about another “homecoming,” which should be just as exciting and celebrated.
This homecoming is about eternal matters, embracing a God who wants to welcome us home, and the mission of the church. To engage this important topic we are dedicating this year’s Book Study at Main Street Bistro to three books centered around the theme of “Homecoming.”
Our first Book Study will look at the classic The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. This is Lewis’s classic vision of the afterworld experienced on a bus trip through heaven and hell – one trip you will not too soon forget. The characters and encounters in this book will challenge you to come to terms with your own beliefs about Heaven and Hell and just what this final “homecoming” is all about. Join us on October 22 ready to discuss the preface and the first three chapters. With this being a short book, we will only meet for four Thursdays (Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12.)
Our second study will look at Henri Nouwen’s classic, The Return of the Prodigal Son. By utilizing Rembrant’s famous painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen wants to bring his readers to a place where they sense belonging and feel the comforts and consoling of home. This is a journey as Nouwen says, “from teaching about love to allowing myself to be loved.” This study will begin on January 21 and we will again meet for only four Thursdays (Jan. 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11).
Our final study of the year will look at award-winning author and Biblical scholar N.T. Wright’s, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. In a lively and accessible manner, Wright invites his readers to wrestle with their ideas of life after death and how they affect the way we live before we die. Quaker Richard Foster said, “I heartily commend to you Surprised by Hope. Without compromise or apology Wright lays out a bold and vigorous articulation of the ‘blessed hope’ of the Christian witness. Grappling with a vast array of controversial topics, this book is sure to surprise you and will no doubt fill you with hope.” This study will begin on April 7 and will meet for six weeks (May 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12).
Again, I invite you to join us at Main Street Bistro from 6:30-8:30pm for one or all of these great books and as we commit together to a journey home.
Grace and peace,