We were finally able (after a 2-year delay) to hold our High School 50 year reunion. It was originally scheduled in 2020 but, because of Covid-19, we kept "pushing it back" trying to wait for a safer time. But last month our time for reunion finally came.. Graduates from as far away as California, New York and Florida were able to join us in Tulsa. We had 771 in our graduating class; 144 are now known deceased and over 150 were able to attend the event. Activities included a picnic at LaFortune Park, tours of the Gathering Place and the revitalized Greenwood district, and a concluding dinner and fellowship. All in all it was a wonderful two days.
I've enjoyed each of our reunions. "Tracking" friends that I have known for years (some since grade school) always brings me a sense of amazement. Some, who seemed so "behind the scene" during High School, went on to become prominent leaders and successful in business. Some, who were popular, smart, or excelled in athletics during High School, faced significant life challenges and struggles. Some, who seemed to have little or no spiritual interests during High School, experienced dramatic faith conversions and went on to work as missionaries, pastors, youth and children's ministers. (There were at least 7 who were ordained to pastoral ministry from my graduating class). It reminds me of the truth that life is hard to predict and we never really know what might be coming our way.
All of my classmates have turned 70 now. I have no idea whether or not another reunion is being considered for the future. But one thing I do know, one day there will be a reunion like none of us have ever experienced during this life...
The Bible tells us of a time of great "reunion" for all who have given their life to Christ. Paul, in 1st Thessalonians, tells us that, "the Lord himself will come own from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thess. 4:16-17). Paul shares these words because he says, "we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." In other words, one day we will be reunited with all of our family, friends, brothers, and sisters in the Lord. It will be a day of Reunion.
All of the Nathan Hale class reunions I've attended have included a wonderful dinner. Our reunion with the Lord is no different: In the book of Revelation (chapter 19) we read about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. One of the first things we will do when we are reunited with our Lord and our friends is sit down and have a wonderful meal together. What a time of reunion this is truly going to be!
So, I am glad that our 52 year High School reunion was finally held. But the reunion I long for most is one that is still to come - it is the reunion of all of the saints of God with our Lord on that day when He returns! It's going to be magnificent, I do hope I will see you there!
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Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.