Happy 150th Anniversary to St Nicholas North Goulburn! Being a relative new comer (I haven’t been ‘in saddle’ 12 months yet) I say this with conviction and pleasure. The last 11 months have been an enjoyable journey as my wife and I have come to know folk and share their Christian journey. “We walk by faith and not by sight”; And so have the generations that have lived out their lives of service to Christ in this place.
Please see the details of the events that will take place over the weekend of May 24th and 25th to commemorate St Nicholas as a Parish in Goulburn.
Our adopted theme is that of Psalm 100:4,5.
“Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and his courts with Praise: give thanks to him and praise his name. For the lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations”.
The Bible encourages us to remember and give thanks. God commanded the Israelites to hold feasts commemorating the things he did for them. He knew it was all too easy for them to forget because of the distractions and demands of every day like. He wants us to remember what he has done in history and in everyday life. When we forget God’s faithfulness we have a tendency to take the future into our own hands. It is vital to remember the works of God in our lives if we are to live soberly, joyfully and caringly as befitting his children.
But there is more. A commemoration or anniversary is a reminder of our future and how we can be confident in a world where the lessons of history are not learnt. The Christian’s hope is both individual and cosmic. Apart from Christ the fear of death and nothingness is everywhere ignored. It is a taboo in our society.
The film director Woody Allen in an article in Esquire magazine in 1977 said “The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror and renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless”.
Perhaps this is too bleak for you? It’s interesting that the Israelites had to bring the first fruits of their harvest to God (Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 26). It was to be a reminder that it is God’s providential care that ensures our future. Easter is recently past for 2014 and I am reminded how the Bible calls Jesus the ‘first fruits of the harvest’ and ‘the first born from the dead’. Both metaphors give assurance that just as he rose we shall follow if we trust in Him. Indeed he will cosmically regenerate our spoiled earth and make all things new. Heaven will be a place of righteousness and goodness, the things we long for but never quite achieve (an interesting thing itself that we are ‘wired’ to long for such a state of existence).
So anniversaries for Christians are a celebration of the future as much as the past. Why don’t you come and join is on May 24th and 25th?