The Front Row


My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so,
would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
John 14:2 (NIV)

We watched the Kennedy Center Award show recently featuring five special people, two of which are my favorites, Meryl Streep and Neil Diamond. They weren’t exactly in the front row, but they were definitely in honored seats up in the balcony, front row and center there. What a wonderful tribute to their life’s work, and the other three people chosen for this award.

There are times in our lives when front row seats are awesome, when we are excited to be so up close and personal to the happenings….and there are times in our lives when we want anything BUT front row seats…as we recently witnessed at a graveside service. Everyone else at a graveside service pretty much stands, gathers around, remembers, and leaves to go back to their lives. The family, they sit in covered chairs, usually under a canopy, and they remember the years spent with their loved one. Afterwards, they go home to live on without them, one minute at a time in the beginning, and they think of the many years they had together and the many years they will now be apart. We count those days, those weeks, months and years…almost anyone missing someone can tell you just how long it has been.

This may seem like a very drab, very sad, very dismal first message from me in the year 2012, but hang with me here because there is Good News in all of this, and we all need good news every day in this new year!! We don’t want to miss what God has waiting for us as this year begins!! Just like the olden days when the young newspaper boy would stand on the corner shouting out, “Get your paper! Hear about the….!!” We need to be shouting about the Good News of Jesus Christ as this New Year begins and live in that Good News every day of our lives!

Succinctly put, the Good News is Jesus. We can complicate it if we want to, but there really is no need. When we say “Yes” to Jesus, we say yes to being forgiven, and yes to living in Heaven forever in the place that God has prepared for those who love Him. Don’t we wish we could have been in the “front row” watching as Jesus walked this earth? Wouldn’t it have been awesome to have been one of His followers, or maybe even to have been one of His twelve chosen?

When we sit in the front row, in the covered chairs reserved for family, maybe we haven’t felt the love of God yet, but we do come up against the stark realization that we hope the person we are saying good-bye to did because their time to make that decision has come and gone. We hope and pray at that point that they were welcomed Home into Heaven and are enjoying the loving embrace of God and are sitting front and center with Jesus because those are the best seats any of us will ever occupy! Let our New Year’s Resolution be that we won’t live one more day without the Good News of Jesus Christ being front and center in our lives each and every day!