Homeward Bound

There is a glossy sheet of paper adorned with the face of a young man, which I keep in my car at all times. I like to pull it out and look at it as I am driving home. It makes me feel at home. I have written a Bible verse in the bottom right corner that reads:

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25 (NIV)

That glossy piece of paper holds the picture of a young man who attended our church. His name was Trent Davis. Trent loved our church. He would often call it his home. He enjoyed serving at church as much as he could. Most of all, Trent had a healthy obsession with serving as an acolyte! There was something about bringing the light for him that just lifted his soul, and most of all added a twinkle to his eye.

I must have taught Trent about our home with Jesus hundreds of times. Never did I think that, in the blink of an eye, Trent’s life would be taken from him as he was struck by a car on his way to school. Just like that, he was gone.

The Last Day 

I will never forget the last look at Trent’s funeral. He was a volunteer fireman, so they gave him a fancy fireman’s funeral to lay him to rest. I remember walking up to see him, all dressed up in fireman’s clothing. As I looked at his face for the last time, I knew that though he was absent from the body, he was present with the Lord. He knew where he belonged now; he was home. I also took great joy that that body I looked at would rise again on the Last Day and that I would see the twinkle in his eye again as we both enjoyed the heavenly feast together.

And as I made the sign of the cross and walked away from him—through my tears—I smiled. Because Trent was homeward bound. He was in the arms of Jesus, basking in the light of Jesus Christ that he had loved to remind others of on Sunday mornings.

I carry Trent’s obituary in my car. I have never taken it out ever since his funeral. He is a constant reminder to me that this Gospel message of home is not simply a truth we teach to children for the future, it is for them right now.

A Light to Guide You

May we all love to bring the light, as Trent did.

May we all understand that we are homeward bound.

May we all realize that one day, our faces will adorn a glossy piece of paper.

And may we all realize that as the storms come, the home built in Jesus Christ will never pass away—just as His promises will never pass away.

That is a light worth bringing—a light to guide us home.

May you, this week, be homeward bound.

We are all homeward bound and will one day see our Savior’s face. Use this Bible study to see how Christ has conquered death so we can live forever. 

Order Death, Heaven, Resurrection, and the New Creation.

Picture of Rev. Dr. Gerard Bolling
Rev. Dr. Gerard Bolling is an LCMS pastor and Lutheran university educator. Dr. Bolling holds a BA in theatre from Concordia University Chicago, an MDiv from Concordia Seminary, and a doctor of education (EdD) degree from Concordia University Wisconsin in leadership, innovation, and continuous improvement. His dissertation was focused on human resource development in under-resourced urban ministry structures of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (How LCMS Pastors Are Developed through Mentorship). Dr. Bolling currently serves in a dual call as pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and as assistant professor of leadership and theology in the online modality and coordinator of multicultural engagement at Concordia University Texas. His passion for urban ministry, education, leadership, nonprofit management, mentorship, diversity/equity/inclusion, and distance learning are all married in this dual call as he serves the saints of Bethlehem and the students of Concordia University Texas simultaneously. Dr. Bolling has also spoken at numerous conferences, on podcasts, and at churches, schools, and events within our church body, reflecting the love of Christ and prodding deeper conversations about deaf, urban, and cross-cultural inclusive ministry. He has taught in half the schools of the Concordia University System, thoroughly realizing the depth of knowledge our Concordia schools have to offer to the world they engage. Dr. Bolling has been married to his beautiful and talented wife, Lorenda, for six years. Lorenda serves as a preschool teacher at Word of Life Lutheran School. Together, they have a four-year-old son named Lincoln and a two-year-old daughter named Monroe. Both children were born in different years but on the exact date—October 5! They currently reside on the south side of St. Louis, Missouri.

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