By Not Known
There are many significant events in life that may and should be celebrated. They range from moving into a new home to having a new job or career or welcoming a new birth. These meaningful milestones mark changes or progress in life. Celebrations are in place to remember the occasions that bring blessings or rewards from new changes.
The more memorable events in our lives are the ones in which we have significant emotional attachments. Teenagers who have come of age celebrate when they turn 21. Others would remember significant milestone birthdays like 30, 60 or 100. Still others celebrate meaningfully the number of years they are married like the diamond jubilee anniversary.
Groups celebrate significant milestones by remembering their founding or key events. They commemorate sustenance, survival, or faithfulness. People who celebrate remember, demonstrate and appreciate the passage of time and the lessons learnt. They are also used to encourage those present to persevere, to plod on and to look forward to more to come.
There is another aspect of such celebrations: the importance and meaning of history. The word “history” is derived from the Greek noun “historia” meaning inquiry or research. It is to have a chronological or systematic account of what has happened in the intervening time.
History has the capacity to help us come to certain conclusions from past events and assist us in not just having a memory of things past but also of lessons learnt that would lead to an understanding of who we are and what we stand for. History makes life richer and gives meaning to connecting with what had happened. Without history, we are without significance.
When there was a significant event, the Jewish people would place a pile of stones to remember God’s faithfulness and assistance. When they conquered their enemies, they would remember God’s sustenance and assistance. Today, the Jewish community makes it a point to come together annually to celebrate and to remember God’s involvement in their lives. They celebrate the Passover, Rosh Hashanah (new year), Yom Kippur (day of Atonement), Sukkoth (desert wanderings), Hanukkah (lights), etc,. More importantly they celebrate the sabbath weekly. They remember Yahweh and His covenant with His people.
As we celebrate our 159th anniversary, we remember God’s goodness towards us in grooming us to be who we are today. We are the church that God has moulded by His grace, we will continue to ensure that future generations celebrate this same goodness every year.
However, ORPC also testifies to the calling of God when she was founded in 1856. It is to be a community of believers who would remain faithful to that calling to share the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to be a Christ-centred church. We remember and celebrate God’s continuing faithfulness today.