“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22-24
The school year began a few weeks ago here in Normal and once again I was blessed to pick up my grandson Miles after school. I was fourth in a line of vehicles patiently waiting for the bell to ring and announce that school was out for the day. The bell rang and it was time for “driver’s, start your engines” at Prairieland Elementary. He came running to my truck with his backpack and an ear-to-ear smile; the first day of second grade was in the books. I gave him my phone and asked him to take a selfie of him and a photo of me driving on the first day of second grade; his selfie was too fuzzy or I would have shared that.
That bell ringing started me thinking about where I will be when the bell rings for me and signals my time is up; come home. Driving home that day the song “When the roll is called up yonder” by Johnny Cash was on my radio and it wasn’t my plan but somebody put these two events together. I don’t know if the time for my last breath will be signaled by a bell, trumpet, cymbal or just a pop from a paper bag; but it is coming and I am sure He will come for me, you, Miles, thousands of Haitian kids and believers everywhere; we are in the roll up yonder. “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" is an 1893 hymn with words and music by James Milton Black. This hymn's central theme is being in Heaven when your time has come and not missing out on the eternal salvation of God.
“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more and the morning breaks eternal bright and fair. When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore and the roll is called up yonder; I'll be there. On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise and the glory of His resurrection share. When His chosen ones are gathered to their home beyond the skies and the roll is called up yonder; I'll be there. Let us labor for the Master from the dawn 'til setting sun. Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care then when all of life is over and our work on earth is done, and the roll is called up yonder; I'll be there. When the roll is called up yonder; I'll be there.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay