“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.'” (Psalm 122:1 NKJV)
During the COVID-19 shutdown, for more than a year and a half now, Greta and I have watched a great number of services on YouTube from a church in the Netherlands, which we attended a number of times when we went there on a family visit. The church building was built in 1549, and in a video introduction, the present pastor comments on the fact that people have been worshipping there for over 472 years. He mentions that it is a family of faith, that Jesus loves us, that everyone is welcome, and that their services are both orthodox and evangelical.
Throughout these centuries, through all the turmoil, the Word of the Lord has been brought to the people. The church survived, even though it had its struggles. In the days of the Holy Roman Empire until 1813, through a long series of wars and treaties, the area was ruled successively by Spanish, Austrian, and French emperors. Through the Spanish Flu in the early 20th century, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and now the recent COVID-19 restrictions, people are still glad to come to the house of the Lord.
From the very beginning, even the early Christian believers had untold problems. They were persecuted, even killed for their faith. They went from place to place to escape the wrath of the authorities, but as a consequence, the Word kept spreading.
“At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1bNKJV)
Later, the Roman emperor persecuted the Christians, but the churches grew, and the good news of the gospel spread from place to place, until the whole Roman Empire professed to be Christian. Nothing could stop the spread of the Word of God.
Although some do forecast the death of the church through a combination of COVID-19 restrictions and modern liberalism, it is obvious that all through history, God’s Word has been brought, and regardless of the circumstances, it cannot be stopped.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV)
Word of God, across the ages comes your message to our life:Ferdinand Q. Blanchard (1867 – 1968)
Source of hope, forever present in our toil and fears and strife;
Constant witness of God’s mercy, still our grace whate’er befall;
Guide unfailing, strength eternal, offered freely to us all.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for all those Christians who believed and brought the Word for so many years, in many cases under the most difficult circumstances. May Your church continue to flourish! We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Joel Jongkind <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Meaford, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission