Is Your Name on the Roll?

 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20 ESV

With a name like Caligiuri, you can imagine what it was like for me in school when the teachers took attendance the first day of each year. Usually, after a while they would get it right but sometimes, I just gave up and simply smiled and nodded at their mangled attempts. The great thing about Jesus is that He not only knows our name, but He also knows how to pronounce it as well as every other detail of our lives! In this time as we are passing through storms of violence, division and confusion, it is a great comfort to know that if we have given our life to Jesus and repented of our sins then God has our names written in Heaven. There, no one will ever erase it, forget it or replace it. We have an eternal place with Jesus and there is no greater joy than being His! Today’s song – When the Roll is Called Up Yonder reminds us of this time of celebration, in a toe-tapping and upbeat way that has made it one of our favorites at the nursing home. I wish I could show you more of the faces of my friends there, but with usually this is not permitted. But one day we will have the chance to all meet on the other side and the good news is that we will all be younger and better looking there!!

Mansion Over the Hilltop from Sunshine Memory Care

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:1-2 KJV

While Jesus spoke these words things might have seemed a little chaotic for the disciples. They had just finished a Passover meal at which Jesus spoke of giving them his body and His blood, told them one of them would betray Him and then washed all their dirty feet! We cannot be sure of the exact scene, but as they listened, they were probably making their way through the dark streets of Jerusalem on their way towards the Garden of Gethsemane. As they walked, they would have been passing all kinds of homes – small homes overflowing with large families – rough looking hovels where the working poor slept and candlelit mansions of the wealthy merchants and the Pharisees. Jesus turned to the worried disciples saying, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. In my Father’s house are many mansions…and I am going to prepare a place for you!”

Questions whizzed through the disciples’ minds in a mixture of hope and puzzlement. “What kind of home? – How would they get there? – When would it all happen?” That same chaotic mixture of faith and puzzlement walks through the scene every week at the nursing homes where I visit. You will see in the video a nurse passing by the camera to check someone, hear the sounds of the intercom calling for people and people moving about and yet they sing. They sing, they smile, and they believe. Their faith lifts me every week as I get the chance to share a half hour of worship with friends who I will meet one day on the other side. There we will have all our hair, nothing will hurt and no one will sit in wheelchairs. Instead, we will find out just what the mansion that Jesus has prepared will be like and we will get to live in it forever with our blessed Lord Jesus Christ!

Forgiveness – The Greatest Legacy of All!

Then said Jesus, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” And they parted His raiment and cast lots. Luke 23:34 KJV

What if Jesus had died for us and yet not forgiven? What if He gave us Heaven but not His heart? What if angels were sent to dry our tears instead of Him or if when we sat at His banqueting table, that His chair was empty? What if we were restored and given an eternity of mansions of delight but never saw His face?

But the greatest prayer and the greatest legacy of Jesus Christ is that He looked at the soldier’s and the thieves, the self-righteous priests and the mocking crowd and prayed Father forgive! And every time we receive the bread and drink from the cup, we are reminded of what this cost Him until He comes again. He has given us a legacy greater than miracles, more powerful than the armies of Heaven and more precious than all the rest of God’s creation. We are forgiven and we are loved! We are received and welcomed and embraced and He has given us HIs own Spirit of adoption by which our hearts cry out to Him – “Abba Father!”

Jesus what a friend for sinners
Jesus lover of my soul
Friends may fail me foes assail me
He my Savior makes me whole

Hallelujah what a Savior
Hallelujah what a friend
Saving - Helping - Keeping - Loving
He is with me to the end!

Our Great Savior by William Chapman 1910