I love anniversaries and birthdays. I am sure many of us do. For every time we celebrate an anniversary or a birthday, it brings us great joy and wonderful memories of our beginnings whether of life, marriage, nation or any important milestone in our lives. Forty-two years to some may not seem a long time. However, when we consider what God has done for us, we can truly rejoice and give God all the glory for keeping us all these many years. We can continue to look forward to His goodness and mercies for many more years to come. Like John Newton, we can also testify of God’s grace, “Thru’ many dangers, toils and snares, I (we) have already come; Tis, grace hath brought me (us) safe thus far, and grace will lead me (us) home.”
I would like to share what this 42nd Anniversary means to me.
First, it calls for a time of joyful celebration. We celebrate because of our salvation. in Christ. Before we could become a church, we must first be saved. We were once sinners but now are formed into the ‘ecclessia’ of Christ. What a joy it is when we recall the day we first got saved! Could you remember such a day? If so, it should bring great joy to your heart for the wonderful grace of God.
Second, it is an occasion of thanksgiving and praise to God and our Lord Jesus Christ. As we look back, I am sure there are many things each one of us could give thanks for. One of those things is God’s watchful care and protection over us as a Church. We are still here today and worshipping together in unity is a testimony of His keeping power and loving care. “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. “(Ps. 127: 1).
Finally, it should be a time for humble reflection and re-dedication. As we think of God’s goodness, we will become aware of our shortcomings and failures. We should humbly ask God for forgiveness and to renew our commitment to Him. We must not become like the church of Ephesus, though they were faithful in many areas, yet they somehow had left their first love for Christ (Rev. 2: 4).
May this hymn, “Lord God, Our Thanks to Thee We Raise” challenge and inspire us to be the kind of Church God wants us to be. Amen.
“Lord God, our thanks to Thee we raise for those who built this house of praise, Who long ago together stood to form a Christian brotherhood.
Here have our children known Thy care and raised their tho’ts to Thee in prayer; Here have we shared the Wine, the Bread- Here have our living souls been fed.
Still thru the years be Thou our guide, Keep us from enmity and pride; Still help us choose the better part- A humble and a thankful heart.
Be this our common enterprise: That truth be preach’d and pray’r arise, That each may seek the other’s good, And live and love as Jesus would.
Create in us the word, the deed, That ours may be a living creed; And cause Thy grace in us to dwell- Abide with us, Immanuel!” Frederick Brewster (1884-1966)
Rev. Mark Tay