During the past several months it has been revealed through the Lord’s guidance, that our congregation at Holland received another pastor and shepherd. And although this is a change in that we no. longer hear the voice of our former pastor Rev. W. Hofman, and now hear our present pastor Rev. B. Kok, essentially nothing new has taken place in that both of these beloved brethren set forth to us the Word of life.
For the servants of God have on their shoulders the holy office of ministers of the Word, shouting forth the glad tidings of the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation. The Church through its divine public worship becomes an Institution radiating light in the midst of darkness. The body of Christ the believers preach the Word through its ordained office, the minister of the Lord. Through the very nature of the Church as institute, one body of believers with ordained offices, the proclamation of the Gospel is a light flowing into a sin-darkened world. The entire institution represents its head, Christ, for Christ uses this Institution with its ordained offices as the priesthood of the Gospel, by which the children of God that sit in the darkness, are slain, in order that being renewed by the Spirit, they may be offered to the Lord. This is a gracious and merciful work through God’s Almighty grace working in their hearts inwardly. And the service being public in nature, that is, with its doors open to the weary and heavy laden, the penitent, the broken and contrite in heart being fed the bread of life, with their thirst quenched by the waters of life flowing from the throne of God, that they eat and drink without money.
These regular Lord’s Day services become a haven of rest and peace to the weary and tired pilgrims, the poor and broken hearted ones, the fatherless and the strangers, the orphans that were estranged from God in the shackles of sin. The slaying Word in the mouth of God’s faithful servant, through the power of God’s grace conforms the whole Church with all their weakness, sins and faults, to the blessedness of the children of God as given by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount,to the end. This is endless, for the children of God need this divine service every seven days to keep them from stumbling. And every day anew this blessed message must be brought to them. Young and old must be fed, till God’s work of sanctification is complete and they enter into the promised rest. This has no end till the very last elect is born, and Christ comes on the clouds of heaven.
Therefore when God called His servant, Rev. Hofman, to labor in another part of His vineyard, He also remembered our congregation at Holland by again sending unto us another servant, Rev. B. Kok. For the entire church as it reveals itself in the midst of this world is God’s church, and all God’s faithful Servants are bearers of the same fundamental truth, the Gospel of the promise. The church therefore receives her ministers as the servants of the Lord, and as such loves these brethren, for they set forth unto her the bread of life.
Therein the congregation of Holland also rejoices, that whereas Rev. Hofman has faithfully labored amongst her in the Word of God, the administration of the Sacraments, and all other activity connected with his office, bonds of love and friendship were established which will stand unto all eternity. And although many of these relationships were temporarily broken off by Rev. Hofman accepting the call of home missionary, yet they shall be realized in its fullest perfection in the glorious Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For also therein essentially nothing old has been left behind by Rev. Hofman and his family when the Lord called them away from the Holland congregation. For under the Lord’s blessing his labors shall stand unto all eternity, that he performed in our midst. And although the Lord called him to a vastly different field of labor as Home Missionary of our churches, yet essentially nothing new has taken place, for Rev. Hofman remaineth the Servant of the Lord preaching the Gospel, the Word of God, the power of God unto salvation.
Thus on October 5th, 1947, Rev. Hofman delivered his farewell sermon to the Holland congregation, choosing his themes from the following portions of Scripture.. Finally, brethren, pray for us. And : Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. This was followed on the evening of October 17th by a congregational farewell social to Rev. and Mrs. Hofman and family, wishing them God’s blessing in their new field of labor.
And in as much as it pleased God to take from us our beloved former pastor and brother, Rev. Hofman, He again made our hearts glad with rejoicing in giving us another Servant, to go before us and break the Bread of Life. That Word, pure and unadulterated, feeding us unto the way of life. That Word feeding the youth of God’s Covenant in Catechism and other midweek activities. Thus our hearts were filled with thanksgiving and gratitude to God, that He again gave us His Servant our beloved Pastor and Brother, Rev. B. Kok.
Installation services of Rev. Kok took place on the evening of Dec. 18, 1947. Rev. J. De Jong charged both Rev. Kok and the Holland congregation in a sermon delivered on the following text,: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof not by constraint but willingly, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage but being ensamples to the flock. Prayer was offered and the form of installation was read by Rev. Hofman. The benediction was pronounced by the newly installed pastor.
The following Lord’s Day Rev. Kok delivered his inaugural sermons to our congregation, choosing his themes from the following portion of Scripture,, And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. , But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
On December 30th the Holland congregation gave a reception social to Rev. and Mrs. Kok and family, welcoming them into their midst.
And although a change did take place in that the Holland congregation received another pastor, essentially nothing new took place, for our beloved pastor Rev. Kok continues to set forth to us the same Word of God, which is the power of God unto salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Consistory of the 1st Prot. Ref. Church, Holland, Michigan.
J. H. Kortering, Clerk.