The Beacon Lights Hymn Sing was held in First Church auditorium Sunday evening, Dec. 27. Ed Langerak, president of the Beacon Lights staff, led in opening prayer, then gave the podium over to Mr. Ed Ophoff to direct the singing. With Karlene Oomkes at the organ the audience enthusiastically followed Mr. Ophoff’s direction in the singing of the familiar Christmas Carols and appropriate Psalter numbers. As a special feature Mr. Ophoff and Mr. C. Jonker sang a tenor duet, “Star of the East.” And because the following day was one of the school holidays, many children were present with their parents, helping to build probably the largest audience ever gathered in a like hymn sing. Rev. Schipper, of the neighboring Southeast Church, led in closing prayer.
The same evening, and at the same time (allowing for the difference of our Time Zones) hymn sings were held in Redlands, Calif., and in Oak Lawn, Ill., the young people sponsoring the first and the Ladies’ School Circle the second.
Rev. H. Hoeksema is gradually beginning to experience the time allegorically described in Eccl. 12, “in the day when the, keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, . . . . . and those that look out of the windows be darkened . . . . . . . . because man goeth to his long home . . . .” The infirmities accompanying old age- prevent him from exercising his most desired activity,—preaching from the pulpit of First Church. His loving people pray that his last way may be easy until “the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit return to God who, gave it.”
In Doon’s Dec. 13 bulletin we found this paragraph: “The. Lord has blessed the home of Rev. and Mrs. Hanko with a baby boy, born in Rock Rapids Hospital Saturday morning. Mother and baby are both well.” And from the Dec. 20th bulletin we lift the following: “Rev. and Mrs. Hanko wish to thank the congregation for their many congratulations, cards, gifts, and help in connection with the birth of their boy. We are deeply moved by your many kindnesses and find words inadequate to express our thanks.”
Ken Haak, Oak Lawn’s serviceman, spent a short Christmas furlough from the Army. While on this furlough Ken was to be found in his favorite place in the worship services,—at the console of the organ, leading the congregational singing.
Oak Lawn’s Young People’s Society was unique in their activities the evening of Dec. 30 (at least, we do not remember reading of it before). They sponsored a Progressive Dinner for their membership.
And Randolph’s Christmas Program also featured an innovation,—the entire audience joined the children in the singing of nine songs as part of the program.
From Hull’s bulletin we learn that they are already making preparations for the opening of their own day school next Fall. These plans include, “requesting tb parents to provide a list of their children from 3 to 1 years old indicating, for those already in school, their present grade.”
Redlands, Doon, and First Church in Grand Rapid, had something in common Sunday, Jan. 3. They all had Installation of Office Bearers that morning. And, in the case of First Church, the sermon was appropriate thereto. Prof. H.C. Hoeksema preached on the passage from Isaiah 62, “I have set watchmen on thy walls, O Jerusalem . . . . . .” Because the sermon was prior to the installation service the words of the Form, “Be also, as watchmen over the house and city of God, faithful to admonish and to caution every one against his ruin,” were so much more appreciated by officers and congregation alike.
Now that the Winter Holidays are past we may well look back and judge our personal attitudes towards them. Was our Thanksgiving Day one of National Proclamation, and based on the “good” things in this life? Or, was it one in which the true thankfulness of a Christian was expressed, in that we testified with our whole conduct our gratitude to God for His blessings, that He might be praised by us? Was our Christmas Day one of relief and rest from the hustle and bustle of “Christmas” shopping? Or, was it filled with the praises of the God of our salvation who took upon Himself our fleshly body that we might, one day, be eternally clothed with a new spiritual body? Was our New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day infected with the false gaiety of the world, which is always seeking and never finding peace and contentment in the hopes of a new year? Or, did we see in the passing of an old year the passing away of the first heaven and the first earth, and did we look ahead to the time when all things shall be made new for our sakes ? “He which testifieth (of) these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22:20.
. . . . . . . . . .see you in church.