“The days of our years are threescore years and ten . . . ” Psalm 90:10
There’s an old story that tells of a grandson who inherited his grandfather’s axe. His father had replaced the handle with an exact replica, and the grandson replaced the axe blade, also with a replica. The question remains: is this my grandfather’s axe? If it’s just a copy, at which point did it become the copy?
As of June 2022, The Junction has been meeting for 70 years, about the time length of a human lifespan. In that time, so much of the world has changed, and those who founded the original First Christian Reformed Church would hardly comprehend some of the ways we have incorporated technology to worship, or the scope of the audience that can now hear a message spoken to a small group.
We inherited the Biblical faith of our grandparents and parents, and confess the same creeds. But the challenges each generation faces requires application in widely different contexts. The church is not our building, though many memories have been made here. And though the church is made up of people, we are more than the sum of our individuals, because members come and go, and the church remains, spiritually connected to the Church of all times and all places.
This is a difficult time, and some places of worship have had to close their doors. Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we struggle to re-establish programs. We want to be faithful to God’s Word and relevant to the younger generation, who are presented with a wide range of life choices through technology, communication, and bioengineering.
It is sometimes tempting to look back to a “golden” era with nostalgia. But there is no return to any earthly Paradise. The way is forward, looking with hope to the future, to persevere as we go through the trials and difficulties, to claim the rewards God promises symbolically in Revelation to those in the churches that overcome: eternal Life, place, belonging, identity, role, purpose.
The times are vastly different from those the first century church was rooted in, but the same qualities are required to endure: faith, hope, love, perseverance, prayer. We trust in God’s goodness, though we do not know the form it will take. The life we live is Jesus’ resurrection life and may spring up in the most unlikely ways and the most unlikely places, and yes, even in the most unlikely people.
God has gifted us with so much in and through The Junction church. May we continue to faithfully listen to the Spirit as we continue on day by day, step by step, into the future.