Wars and rumors of wars...
Now we peer into the future. There are dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon. We are in a serious recession. So are the other leading countries around the world. A brutal civil war rages in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, the very city where in 1914 a young Bosnian who lived in Serbia assassinated the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary and his wife. World War I erupted almost overnight. We are now the only military superpower, but we cannot put an end to internal wars of nationalism. What does God have in store?
At home there is an internal war fomenting, a cultural war in which the Christians and their values are openly opposed with growing hostility. Our culture has become offensive to God. We could be facing another world war or another great depression, or we could be facing religious persecution.
But as we look at these last one hundred years we see how God has cared for His church, how He has protected them and enabled them to be the pillar and foundation of the truth in every age and under every circumstance. We can see how the worst times of all were nevertheless the best times for those who loved Him. We see His mercy in the way He prepared His people beforehand for the trials that were to come, and how their perseverance testified to His glory.
We know that we can count on his faithfulness, come what may. We find comfort in knowing that He has dominion over all. It is his story. We have become a stronger congregation than ever, better equipped for what lies ahead of us. He will enable us to do His will, as He has always done. How much we have to be thankful for! How much we owe those on whose shoulders we now stand.
Our Heavenly Father, who raised up this mountain and planted this church upon it, we thank you for bringing this body of Christ together a century ago. We thank you for the faithfulness with which you have met the needs of all our members for a hundred years. We praise you that you have dominion over everything.
When we see how your grace was manifested among us in hard times and easier times, we rejoice in being part of your divine plan, each of us with a special purpose. We thank you especially for the faithfulness of those who brought our church this far.
As we consider the uncertainties of the future, may we draw strength and encouragement from the knowledge that, when worldly circumstances have been most against us, you have been closest to us, and we have been closest to you.
Make us mindful that we can only do your will in the present. With the power of your Holy Spirit help us boldly show forth your glory and our salvation through your precious Son, Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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