The first “Homecoming” event apparently happened in Columbia, MO in the Fall of 1911. It was
for a football game between Kansas University and the University of Missouri (which tied at 3-3
– boring!). 10,000 alumni showed up. It has become a “thing” ever since.
But why come home? Also, what is – home?
Certainly, on college campuses and residential high schools such as ours, there is more of a
“home away from home” atmosphere with dorms, dining halls – as well as the guidance that
counselors, teachers and administrators provide. There are strong bonds that are created
between schoolmates and a culture that is going to have an impact for a lifetime. Obviously,
we would pray that this would be a positive experience and that our alumni would want to
come home to that which is wonderful and positive.
Homecoming for many SPLHS alumni means coming back to the place where they discovered or
expanded their understanding of God’s will for their lives. There have always been
opportunities for intellectual and spiritual growth, but nobody takes full advantage of
everything. As with any individual, experiences can differ greatly even as they go through the
same event. So – coming home means different things to different people.
In the parable of the “Prodigal Sons” a servant tells the older son, “Your brother has come
(home), and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and
sound.” (Luke 15:27). And then it says, “The older brother became angry and refused to go in.”
Two sons are home. One son has gone off and made a mess of his life, but remembers what a
gracious, loving Father is like and he comes and received forgiveness. Another son has always
been home, but isn’t very satisfied with what he’s got. The home is the same, but the
responses are very different.
Most of us can see ourselves in both sons at any given time. Ultimately, our Heavenly Father’s
house is the home we eventually need to return to. Houses, schools, jobs – life itself can
distract us and cloud our judgment, but when the last chapter of your life is written – your
Father will be waiting for you on the steps of the best homecoming ever.
Rev. Paul M. Mehl