Sunday, September 7, 2008

Church Anniversaries and Why we celebrate them

Someone recently belittled "anniversaries" in the church and jokingly asked why we celebrate them. (this person is not a member of Telephone Baptist, but lives in our small community in NE Fannin County) I really feel interestingly and curiously challenged by this question and wanted to write something about it.

Some folks may wonder that this is another plot to please people or have another "big" event in the church to just waste money on. We did buy the pencils and pens, refrigerator magnets, bumper stickers, and a history book (which was incredibly done). We had a sweet woman that was very passionate about TBC church history and set up displays about the past. Of course we have to eat.......a huge brisket lunch on Sunday with yummy desserts. Testimonies were given, prayers were voiced, former pastors preached, lots of singing and even a concert by a quartet, Lord's Supper celebrated, and deacons served.

In the Old Testament we see that the Israelites gathered for festivals to celebrate God's greatness. We know the focus is on the covenant they had with the Lord. The 21st century church is under our Lord's direction and we too should gather and celebrate God's greatness. We are talking about 125 years of being rooted in the Lord placed in this community of Telephone. The church here has been a pillar of the community for this long.

By the way, every church has a history. All of them are very interesting. You would be surprised on what was voted in past years. It is good to reflect on the past and build on it. The good people of the past have built what is here today. Some of it is the next generation of a faithful family who have never really left their home. Some are the facilities the church and community has met for decades. It is good to celebrate what God has done through the servants of the past. It is also good to really look at what is happening now....the present. These two tools will help to form what the church can be in the future.

The theme of every anniversary should be "God's Blessings". We are blessed!! We don't show or tell God our thanks enough. Every 25 years, it is good to gather for a planned time of thanksgiving to God to praise Him for His greatness. We even members come who are on the role but do not attend regularly. I was so thankful to see and greet them. I can give thanks for providing an opportunity to see them again.

I hope this 125th anniversary gave thanks to the Lord as celebrate His goodness to us!! This anniversary certainly made me think of what I am thankful for!! I am blessed to serve Him!!
So go forth and celebrate!!

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