(At the occasion of the farewell program for Rev. Carl Haak by Lynden Protestant Reformed congregation, Lynden, WA, on October 21, 1994.)
When Christ Himself was yet upon this earthly scene,
Pray ye, said He, the Lord of Harvest, when you see fields unto that harvest white.
That He the Lord send laborers there to reap
His Wheat and from the midst of chaff to separate and claim His own with might.
So do the saints in congregations in this age beseech, and so did we,
Almost a decade now, ago … though we are startled by time’s swift and urgent passing.
And Lord of Harvest heard our prayer for help, and sent into our midst a reaper then
Made able, by His sending to this work, to preach the Word that men might hear, believe, and call on Him in faith.
This faithful servant preached the Word of comfort, and as lovely messenger of peace
Proclaimed the truth that all things viewed apart from God the Lord are vain,
But also that the words, acceptable and sought out by preachers wise, are upright
And from one Shepherd given, in order that His people, in these last days, might still be taught such knowledge for their light.
But now has Lord of Harvest made it clear to us through this His chosen vessel, preacher of His Word,
That he should, for the sake of other saints, not of this flock in Lynden, bestow his labor elsewhere for a season
And minister to them in all their needs, as he did here, from needs of little ones to needs of saints with hoary head,
And bring the Word of Gospel which, though not of his own making, is loved by him who bore it, sent out by Lord of Harvest as life into the dead.
What can we do now, as members of the congregation, but bid farewell
To preacher and his wife and children, too, who all have dwelt among us,
Though we are loathe to say goodbye to those we love, except we know it’s Father’s will
That they should go and we should stay where Lord of Harvest wisely knows the way He’ll save and bless with other reaper, sent forth by Him into this congregation dear.
May God continue now to place the Word of Gospel in your heart and on your Lips, as from the Scripture taken,
So that the congregation there as well as here, the one you leave behind, may hear conclusion of the matter, clearly:
Oh saints! Fear God, His precepts and His good commandments keep! This is the whole of man!
For all your works has God into the judgment brought and paid for them upon the Head of His dear Son!
Now may the Lord Himself, in tender pity for the tears and fears that otherwise would overwhelm us,
Grant us peace and courage, yes, and even joy to know that you and we are kept by Him whose goodness none can measure.