This year marks the 50th anniversary of Second Reformed Presbyterian Church. Our desire as a congregation in this year is to lay hold of the heritage that has been given to us as we advance by faith into a new half-century of service to Jesus Christ.
Jesus laid down his life for the church. He promised he would build his church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He has been building his church for the last five decades in this place, and we are glad. It could be possible for us to fall prey to merely looking backward to see our heritage through the lens of our history. But, we remember, more than ever, that our inheritance is in Christ and that we are heirs with him of all things.
Joshua led Israel to conquer the Promised Land as recorded in Joshua chapters 1-12. Those chapters describe exciting stories of the salvation of Rahab the harlot, the Battle of Jericho, the sun standing still, and the defeat of thirty-one kings. Exciting times!
Then, chapters 13-24 describe the more mundane division of the land, the apportioning of inheritances, and a call to possess the land that remained. Lest the people think that their work was less significant, the Lord raised up Caleb as a model. He drove out the remaining giants dwelling in the land he chose to inhabit. The people would see greater things still if they would only serve the Lord. Joshua concluded his life of ministry calling the people of God to look backward, to look forward, and serve the Lord vigorously, promising that they would see still great things.
Joshua 23:3-8 And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the LORD your God who has fought for you. 4 Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. 5 The LORD your God will push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, just as the LORD your God promised you. 6 Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, 7 that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, 8 but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day. (ESV)
Our mission today is to serve the Lord and take the land through making disciples of all the nations. This year, we are looking back to see what the Lord has done for us through various fellowship events and celebration. We are claiming God’s promise that he will continue to work for us by building his church. We are committing ourselves afresh to the word of God. And we are urging the present generation to cling to God.
The Lord has given his people a great heritage in this place. Our great desire this year is to see Second Reformed Presbyterian Church lay claim to its heritage and advance still from strength to strength, going where other pilgrims have trod as we seek the face of God. You are warmly invited to join in this grand endeavor and see the mighty works of God!