During the earning month the young people from the various churches of our Protestant Reformed Denomination will gather for a few days in annual convention. Once again many old acquaintances will be revived and new friendships established. During these convention days there are always various spiritual benefits to be had by those who diligently seek them. Among these blessings one of most importance is the exercising of the fellowship of the saints.
This particular fellowship is a very pertinent part of our Christian Living and furthermore we would stress to all those (and we hope this includes everyone) who will be in attendance at the coming convention that unless you during these days exercise Christian Fellowship you will return home having missed out on the greatest convention blessing. This fellowship requires not only that we seek out our old friends and establish with them a ‘clique’ but it demands that we seek out new friends and step out of our way to bring into the communion everyone, barring none. Cliques are always detrimental in the fellowship of the saints but especially do they retard the spiritual progress of such conventions. Frequently there are those who are more timid and reserved than others who need a friendly ‘push’ or ‘pull’ to get them to go along and mix in the group. Their interest is there as is indicative by their presence but all personalities are not alike. Some need encouragement while others need a bridle. Let’s remember this in all of our associations at convention time!
To exercise this fellowship is, young people, a blessed privilege. Too often we fail to realize this. We frequently come to the conventions with other premeditated purposes than to faithfully and undividedly attend to the privileges God gives to us to exercise. Does it perhaps require that God intervene and deny us these things first before we really have a sense of their true values?
As always, privileges imply responsibilities. The latter which are incumbent upon us as Young People of the Church of Jesus Christ in this world are varied. Our first responsibility is always unto God. We gather together in convention for the prime purpose of serving God. That purpose we must attain whether it be in attendance to the addresses by a minister, in our business meetings, in our outings or banqueting. Always and foremost must be the conscious desire to fulfill our duty of God’s service. Returning from the convention we must be able to attend that we during these days attended to whatever God would have us do.
Our second responsibility is unto our individual Society and the Federation of societies and, not to be forgotten, our host Society. We do well to remember that in our activities we reflect our societies. No society, of course, can be judged by the conduct of one or two of its members but as members we must never conduct ourselves in such a way as may leave an unpleasant or evil reflection upon our church or society. We owe it too to assist in as far as it lies in our power in making the whole convention a success. This annual undertaking is not just an individual’s task or the work of a single society. It belongs to us all and only by the cooperation and assistance of all can it be a success. For that reason the Federation and Host-society work for us laying the foundation for us to build upon during the conventions days. Ours is the responsibility to build a monument of which we will be proud for years to come. So impressive must this structure be that it leaves pleasant and lasting memories.
But we also have a responsibility unto ourselves. Many of us are as it were “on our own” during these days although actually that is never so. We are really NEVER “on our own”. We are always accountable. But the point we would stress is that as Covenant Young People we may never use the Convention as a release from the parental eye and take liberties which we would not take at home as we have seen done to the shame of some. We are responsible unto ourselves to conduct ourselves as becometh saints. We are no more children but Young Men and Young Women who are capable of proper discernment. Through the convention let each one of us keep the melody in their heart: “O how love I THY law, it is my meditation.”
And then we have a responsibility to our fellow-conventioneers. With them we must exercise that “fellowship”. That demands that we must not be isolationists separating ourselves from the rest or disagreeables whose delight it is always to act contrary to the rest. We must be “cooperatist” who unselfishly and ungrudgingly seek the good of the whole. To do this it will be necessary to exercise the grace of love which “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth.” (I Cor.13: 4-6)
Fellowship in love as you see “the end approaching”. Then the ’51 convention will breathe the spirit of “Christian Living.”