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Celebrating Your Life

The mail delivery man on a snowy, frigid, winter day, January, 1941, followed the usual delivery route with mail for the day to be placed in a diminutive mailbox at 609 Peace Street, Pella, Iowa.  This time the mail was almost too large for the mailbox.  It was a brand new magazine, Beacon Lights for Young Protestants.

Lying near me on my desk as I write is the very same magazine that was delivered in January, 1941, now celebrating 75 years of existence, slightly wrinkled and yellowed but completely preserved.  This precious treasure with other yellowed and important documents and papers were moved from home to home by my parents when they served the churches.   

I can imagine myself as a 10-year old youngster dashing into the house with this first edition of the magazine that was published by the very recently organized Protestant Reformed Young People’s FederationAs I looked at the magazine, I am almost certain I would have wondered, “What are Young Protestants?”

The decision of the delegates at the second annual young people’s convention convened at the First Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan in August, 1940, had authorized the publication of the magazine

Of course, I could not have known at that time the total significance of the name of the publication of this magazine and the influence of the Federation that published Beacon Lights.  That the Federation and Beacon Lights did have a large influence on me and many in the long and fruitful seventy-five year history is an indisputable historical fact.

The parsonage to which that first Beacon Lights was delivered was the home of the Lubbers family and Rev. George C. Lubbers (1937-1944), the minister of the Pella Protestant Reformed Church located at the intersection of Main and Peace Streets, and a block east of the Central College campus, a college associated with the Reformed Church of America.

I remember well the congregation of the Pella Protestant Reformed Church, which, sad to say, no longer exists.  Pella PRC was established in the late 1920s in a predominantly Dutch Reformed community.  The congregation that I remember was a peace-loving and peaceful congregation meeting in those days in a church purchased from a Methodist congregation.

Only fifteen years had passed since the Protestant Reformed Churches of America had been organized. I heard from a reliable source—my Dad, of course—that the congregation of young and old supported enthusiastically and faithfully the causes of Christ represented by the PR churches.

Pella was and is still today a lovely town established in the rich farm land of rolling hills that are adjacent to and part of land near the Skunk and Des Moines Rivers.  This was the country land in Iowa that was settled and established by 800 Dutch immigrants who followed Hendrick Scholte and his aristocratic wife from the Netherlands in1847.  Here for a hundred years Reformed fathers and mothers lived, worshiped, and reared their children and young people.  They were godly and quality people with names such as the now famous Vermeer family, the Van Zees, the Van Weeldens, the Wassinks, the Stuursmas, the three DeVries families (a descendant of two of these families is Rev. Michael De Vries, pastor of the Kalamazoo PRC.), the Vander Molens, the Edemas, the Boenders, and the old but faithful  Mrs. Kleyn.

Members of these families attended with others the services and activities of the Pella PRC.  The children of several of these families went to the Peoria and Pella Christian Schools, as did children from my family, and were students in the weekly after-church-service catechism classes, where our theme song that I especially remember and learned to love was Psalter number 367, a versification of Psalm 132.  The song entitled “God and His Church” began with the well-known words, “Gracious Lord, remember David, how he made thy house his care.” I did not totally realize at that time that my Dad, who was our catechism teacher in those important years, was teaching his students to sing history and sing about love of King David for the church, the love we have for the church when we sing praise and glory to God.  When I sing this song and hear this song sung my mind is immediately turned to time in my life when I first learned this song and to the significance of this song for young and old Christians.

Let’s get on with Beacon Lights.

When we pause to commemorate and celebrate Beacon Lights, it is most necessary and appropriate to contemplate and celebrate the goodness, faithfulness, and grace of God.  In spite of our unfaithfulness, failures, and sin, Beacon Lights has flourished and grown. Although the Pella PRC no longer exists I am convinced that the young people in Pella PR church in those days, especially the Wassinks and VanWeeldens, who were old enough to attend society, were the happy and thankful recipients of this new magazine.

Eighteen months prior to the first publication of Beacon Lights, on a warm summer day in August, 1939, I watched my dad, George Lubbers, and Mr. Cecil Vander Molen (our Uncle Ceis) direct an excited and happy group of young people and young adults as they readied themselves to attend the very first Convention sponsored by the PRYP Federation. I was about eight years old and in the second grade in the Pella Christian School, and I remember that the young people and young adults from the Pella PRC and the Oskaloosa PRC (both Iowa churches) boarded a truck used most of the days of each week for milk delivery from Iowa farms to the creamery.  It was to be the mode of transportation for the young people and young adults of the Pella and Oskaloosa, Iowa, Protestant Reformed Churches to make the round trip of six hundred miles. South Holland, Illinois PR church was the destination. Although Uncle Ceis’s truck was not a Model T Ford or a Greyhound bus, a trip like this looked super exiting to me.  That bumpy and exhausting ride from Pella to South Holland and the return must have often been one of the stories they told each other and must have lived long in the minds of these young men and young women and their chaperones.  How times have changed since the pre-WW 2 days more than seventy-five years ago. Can you imagine a trip like that today? Can you imagine the home coming of all those who attended this first convention?  Think of the excitement and anticipation for the fatiguing and bumpy trips to future conventions.

The results of that first Convention were significant because the emphasis already at the first convention, 1939, in South Holland, Illinois PRC was focused on the plans for the publication of a periodical that would be called Beacon Lights.The main item on the agenda for the second annual convention convened in the summer, 1940, at the First PRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan was to approve the publication of five issues—January, February, March, April, and May 1941.  The publication period was declared a trial period, and it was the first of two trial periods.  At the third annual convention, Oak Lawn, Illinois, August 1941, the main business was once again the Beacon Lights. At this convention the monumental decision was reached to continue publication for eight months: October, 1941 through May, 1942, the second trial period, and then hopefully into the unknown future.  However, according to the unchangeable counsel and providence of God, the young people with the advice and counsel of the ministers of the gospel then serving in the churches went home with deep satisfaction because they made the decision that resulted in the publication of a magazine that has existed for 75 years and commences now the 76th year of its existence.

The year 1941 is virtually impossible to forget. Soon we will celebrate again the targeting and bombing of U.S. possessions in Hawaii, December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, which began WW 2 for the U.S.  It was a devastating attack, and those who are old enough to remember know that WW 2 had an immediate impact upon the church and the young men of the church. It also had immediate results for Beacon Lights because the magazine began to address the needs of young men who were drafted or enlisted to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Letters from Rev. Hoeksema and others to the soldiers were included in Beacon Lights.  Young men in the armed forces responded with gratitude for the Beacon Lights and for the letters published in the Beacon Lights.  A system was devised so that letters would consistently be sent to the men in the armed forces.  In this and many other ways Beacon Lights has contributed to the organic life of the church, to societies, and to the lives of the members of the churches. Praise God!

Seventy-five years is important in the life of our churches that are now over 90 years old.  Seventy-five years is the number of years that we can celebrate both the existence of Beacon Lights and the Reformed Witness Hour.  The broadcast of the first program of the Reformed Witness Hour was featured and announced on the back cover of the October, 1941, Beacon Lights as “The Protestant Reformed Hour.”  The announcement informed the readers that Herman Hoeksema would be the speaker, and that the program would also feature a mixed choir, called the Radio Choir.  This introductory broadcast would be aired Sunday, October 12, 1941, at 4:15 PM on WLAV, at 1340 AM on the radio dial.  This was a live broadcast with no replays.   It is perhaps significant that the Young Men’s Society of the First Protestant Reformed Church, which was responsible for the program, was also very active in the production of the Beacon Lights.  The message that day was “God is God.”  I remember well that several weeks later the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, forced the cancellation of the Reformed Witness Hour that December day so Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the USA, could address the nation about this attack and consequences of the declaration of war.

When Beacon Lights came into existence and first appeared in the homes of the initial subscribers and readers in January, 1941, I can imagine the animated conversations and discussions among the recipients in the homes of the members of churches spread across the United States in Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and California.  Young people from homes in these States had not merely attended a convention like many of us do and did—but these three conventions were the basic precedent-setting forerunners for future conventions that would occur annually for the next seven decades.  These early conventions were new occurrences, new events—a frontier that needed to be explored, tested, and conquered. These conventions of the Federation can be compared to the life of the colonists who were required to clear the forests, plow new ground, build new houses and farm buildings and establish new villages, towns, and cities.  Most of these early young Protestants, as Beacon Lights named them, are now deceased and have departed from the church militant and have joined the church triumphant in glory, but the results of their decisions and endeavors remain.

Young people most certainly went to the conventions to have a good time, but not with the thought or plan that they would attempt to outdo the mischief and adventures of past conventioneers.  The circumstances did not contribute to this.  Those attending conventions stayed in the homes of families of the guest churches. Conventions were usually small enough for this arrangement.  In addition the young men and women had been charged with important and significant responsibilities. They had work to do. The challenging and aggressive agenda for the convention business meetings required important and consequential decisions.  Attention to important details in a short two days was the requisite.  The challenge and goal was apparent.

The young people heard Rev. Herman Hoeksema, the keynote speaker at conventions for many years, urge them to make progress and go forward.  As a young Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church pastor, Herman Hoeksema had worked relentlessly and vigorously in the1920’s to organize young men into a movement and federation called Young Calvinists.  His position as the first editor of the magazine, The Young Calvinist, was certainly a stimulus and an influence for the development of both the Federation and Beacon Lights.  In addition the leaders of the Federation were urged and encouraged by the enthusiastic young thirty-year old ministers and pastors from the various PR churches to move forward in the process of federation and organization. These pastors obviously understood and recognized that the future of the church on earth is rooted in the life of the militant young people of the church with whom they had the blessed privilege to live and work. The stimulus, encouragement, and leadership given in these ways were certainly obvious to the young men and women who attended the first three conventions and in the process had caught the enthusiasm and developed desires and a sense of urgency.  The minds and hearts of the young men and women were captured so that they in unity and not mere union went to work. This unity would be the incentive, and the drive to continue the construction of the Federation that brought Beacon Lights into existence.

These Young Protestants of 1939, 1940, and 1941, were similar to the strong and vital young men and women who accompanied Nehemiah in c.500 BC for the restoration and building of the walls of Jerusalem.  The young people, like the followers of Nehemiah, were of a mind to work and in this way bring into existence the walls of the PRYP Federation and Beacon Lights.  The young men and women of 1939-1941 and following years were warriors in the faith who worked with the trowel in one hand and with the sword in the other hand—the sword of faith, which is the word of God. In this manner they established a national organization in the fifteen fast-moving and therefore short years following the organization of the PR churches in 1924. These young men and women with great zeal would through this zeal develop a humble but worthy magazine to be an instrument of instruction, edification, and unification of the young people of the churches for seven decades in several states of the USA.

It bears repeating that Beacon Lights came into existence at a time, 1941, when it was the receipt of this publication was an enormous necessity for our young men that were being drafted or enlisted in the Armed Forces because of WW 2, 1941-1946.  Concerning Beacon Lights it can rightly be said, “See what God hath awesomely wrought.”

Recently I have read and paged through the first issues of Beacon Lights (Volumes 1–4).  I was surprised to find two letters that show how very early in its life Beacon Lights became a medium for our young people to speak to one another.  I discovered in my examination of the December, 1941, Beacon Lights a letter from a young adult, Wilmina Rutgers.  I said to myself, I know her.  Wilmina is the widow of the late Rev. George Lanting.  She was a member of the Oak Lawn, Illinois PRC young people’s society that hosted the third convention in August, 1941—the convention that made the decision that Beacon Lights would no longer be published on a trial basis but would move on to be a permanent publication.  Wilmina is a member of the Crete, Illinois PRC and is certainly one of the few living past conventioneers of 1939-1941 era.  She wrote as a representative of the host society for the convention at  Oak Lawn of PRC 1941 to express great appreciation for the convention and concludes with the comment that “we are thankful to have our own  paper, but especially thankful that this is one of the first fruits of our Protestant Reformed Young People’s Federation.”

Wilmina wrote again in the October, 1943, Volume 4, Number 1 issue.  Her letter contains the following:  “Today I received my Beacon Lights.  I read through it from cover to cover. I intend to reread various articles so that I will get the full value of them.”  She writes that since this is war time many of the young men have gone to the armed services. God sends his covenant young men to war against men with weapons, but also to war against temptations. This makes it hard for them to fight the good fight of faith.  If we could see their surroundings we would say it is impossible for them to keep walking uprightly.

Wilmina continues: “At home in the churches a war is going on and we wonder sometimes what the outcome will be.  Families are broken up because of doctrinal differences.  Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and cousins are separated from worshipping in the same denomination.  When we work, we must fight unions and Sunday work.  Where is the peace today?  What has the youth today?”  She completes her letter by saying, “We know true joy and happiness come from within. The law of God is in our hearts by the new life within us.”

I believe you can say with me that the battle has not changed; only the time and the circumstances. This is cause to be rejuvenated in the desire to see Beacon Lights continue and perhaps improve.

If you know or see Wilmina, please say hello and wish her God’s blessings from you to her and from me to her.  I remember Wilmina from meeting her on many occasions and when I taught her children many years ago. It should be apparent that we both have had similar opportunities to participate in the early conventions.  If you see her in church, please tell her that you read about her in Beacon Lights and that 75 years ago she wrote letters that were published in Beacon Lights of 1941 and 1943.  If you are her grandchildren, thank her for her love and tell her how much you appreciate her faithfulness as a member of the church these many years.

I believe I can safely assume that if Beacon Lights was published at least ten times per year since the first issue in January, 1941, it has been delivered to societies and to subscribers about 750 times. This, I believe, is a notable and illustrious history and ranks high with other magazines and periodicals of this type.  Having passed through the history of 1953 it’s remarkable that the magazine is still being published each month.  When two-thirds of the church membership of the churches left the Protestant Reformed Churches in the 1953 era, many who were subscribers, supporters, and writers left.  Therefore it is astounding that this God-ordained magazine has continued to exist and to do that which it was founded to accomplish. Confer the editorial by Cornelius Hanko, January 1941, Volume I, Number 1, to study for reading this mission and purpose.

“1/ Unite all Protestant Reformed Young People and Societies so that they may work in close unity and secure a sense of solidarity.”

“2. To seek the mutual edification of the members of this Federation and to strive for the development of talents as becomes Christian young people.”

“3. To maintain our specific Protestant Reformed character with a united front.”

“4. To promote the welfare of the Protestant Reformed Churches in which we have a name a place.”

The statements are statements set a high and necessary goal.  The goal that the men and women of 1941 thought and lived has not changed and must still be the goal of the Federation.

In 1941 Editor Cornelius Hanko, wrote: “One stride toward realizing this purpose is made.  And hereby Beacon Lights takes upon itself to serve this purpose.”

The first step is the first step of many hundreds or thousands of these steps.  The first step is so significant.

The resulting enthusiasm and industry caused by the decision of the fledgling PRYP Federation to authorize and begin the publication of Beacon Lights after only two conventions attended by delegates from far-flung churches is evident in the editorials by the editor, Rev. C. Hanko.  He writes with an obvious flair and a flourish of enthusiasm in his first editorial, January, 1941, Volume I, No. 1, page 1 as follows:

“The Publication Committee of the P.R.Y.P.F. takes great pleasure in introducing the first issue of our new periodical into your midst.  It means to them the fruit of concentrated effort put forth during the last few months to make this paper possible, the removal of what at times appeared to be insurmountable barriers, and the satisfaction of having reached a certain goal.  But we realize that it means far more to members of the young people’s Federation.  To you it is the first-fruits of the youthful, yet lively and ambitious organization it represents.  Not eighteen months ago the Federation was organized in South Holland, Illinois.  Not five months have passed since the second annual Convention was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Today you have your own paper.  And what this means toward filling the long-felt need in our young people’s societies can only be surmised.”

An imposing lighthouse and tower adorns the faded blue cover of the very first issue. A beam of light issued from the light house with the familiar words quoted from Psalm 35:9, “In Thy Light Shall we See Light.”  The articles that appeared in the first issue were Editorials, Bible Outlines, Discussion of the Canons of Dordt , Book Reviews, Tomorrow’s Man of God, and Exciting Quotations.  The masthead listed the editorial staff.  They were the twelve ministers from the PR churches at that time, none of whom are still living on this earth, but I believe have received the reward of Christ for their labors.  It is disappointing and sad that only four of the contributors to Beacon Lights in 1953 and prior to 1953 remained with the Protestant Reformed Churches after the painful, sad, consequential, and obviously necessary history of 1953.   I remember all of them and met at some time all of them, and I remember very personally and well the events of that time and the necessary but in some ways painful consequences.

Those who remained to work for Beacon Lights were editor in chief, Rev. Cornelius Hanko, of Oak Lawn, Illinois; Herman Hoeksema, George Lubbers, and Marinus Schipper.  The original editors who left the PRC in 1953 were the editor of Bible Study Outlines, Rev. Peter De Boer of Holland, Michigan; Book Review editor, Rev. Leonard Vermeer; the Canons of Dordt, editor Rev. Heman Hoeksema; and the regular writers and contributors: Andrew Cammenga, John D. deJong, Lambert Doezema, Martin Gritters, Andrew Petter, and John Vander Breggen.  One must say that this periodical with a humble beginning had an array of ministers prepared to give of their time, understanding, and talent to this production.

“All things have worked together for good” (cf. Rom. 8:28).  This theologically correct, it is salvatorily true, and it is experientially real.

One additional person, namely, the first subscription manager should be identified.  Peternella Poortinga received the subscription cost of seventy-five cents (75 cents) or fifteen cents per copy for the first five issues (January-May, 1941).  Ah!!!! Seventy-five cents. What can you purchase for 15 cents today?  How about 75 cents?  Seventy-five years and seventy-five cents.  Quite a coincidence, I must say.  Don’t you think so?

It was May, 1941 that editor Editor Cornelius Hanko wrote again as follows:

Beacon Lights has made its appearance and has met with a hearty reception, far beyond our fondest expectations.  By this time it has gained for itself a definite place in the society life of our Protestant Reformed youth, besides supplying them with edifying reading material.  Yet as was said at the outset, these first five issues were merely an experiment from every point of view.”

It was October, 1941 after an absence of four months (June, July, August, September, 1941) the Beacon Lights made a renewed appearance at 609 Peace Street and other homes in Pella and Oskaloosa, and on the farms, and in villages, towns, and cities in the USA

Volume 2, October, 1941 of Beacon Lights appropriately contained another introduction as Editor C. Hanko commences this aspect and part of a volume of the magazine.  Editor Hanko wrote that “Beacon Lights comes to you again as a friend and companion, an invaluable guide throughout the new season of society activities…Once more it takes upon itself to maintain that only in God’s light do we see the light…It appears in new garb….The appearance has undergone change.  For practical reasons the size was reduced and the number of pages increased.  We hope that our readers will find the magazine in its present form more convenient to carry about with them.”

The implication of all this is that the editor and those working with him were advocating with enthusiasm and with determination that this good work had not only begun, but that there was more that should be accomplished. All that was needed was the vote for the proposal to continue in the future, with continued enthusiasm, continued fidelity, and continued willingness and devotion for the endeavor and task. Beacon Lights has stayed.  We have observed this for seventy-five years.  God is good.  God is faithful.

 

SOME SPECIFICS CONCERNING THAT FIRST VOLUME: THOSE FIRST FIVE ISSUES

One of the noteworthy and significantly indicative rubrics in terms of the mission and goals of Beacon Lights that were published in the first five issues and further issues is the Bible Outlines rubric edited initially by Rev. Peter De Boer.  These Bible discussion outlines provided study material to help direct the discussion in the society meetings each week of the society season.  It is obvious that a feeling of unity must have been experienced by the young people when they realized that all young people’s societies were studying the same scripture undoubtedly on the same day or evening.  A thorough-going series of outlines on Matthew 5–7 in the January–May, 1941 issues were published for the young people to use and prepare for the discussion.  This was an obvious attempt to unite all Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies.  This rubric and practice went on for many years when men like Rev. George Lubbers, Rev. Homer C. Hoeksema, and Rev. John Heys began serving in this capacity.

I discovered that the book reviews written by Rev. Leonard Vermeer are interesting and helpful.  I am particularly impressed with his review of the Dutch Trilogy Publications of Dr.Klaas Schilder by Henry Zylstra, my excellent English professor at Calvin College. This Triology entitled Christ in His Suffering, Christ on Trial, and Christ Crucified were reviewed with the assumption that young readers should become familiar with Klaas Schilder’s excellent writings published at. $3.00 per volume.by Eerdmans Publishing. The Dutch were part of the books on the shelves in Dad’s study.

Along with the discovery of the review of these books in a 1941 issue of the Beacon Lights, many could have known what I discovered and remembered about Klaas Schilder, because in 1939 he had spoken in many of the Protestant Reformed Churches.  I recall that in 1939 Schilder had visited in our home in Pella, Iowa, on a speaking tour in the churches and visited in our home in Randolph, Wisconsin, in 1947 on a second speaking tour.  His lectures in 1947 were primarily concerned with his concept of the covenant.

In 1948-49 my father was the most initial translator of De Geloovigen en Hun Zaad (Believers and Their Seed) written originally in the Dutch by Herman Hoeksema and published in the Standard Bearer in 1927. In my opinion by the visits and conversations and lectures Dad was influenced to produce his translation so that others who could not read Dutch would be able to read these articles and this explanation of covenant in opposition to the errant covenant theology of Dr. Schilder.  I am certain that Dad believed this a careful and accurate scriptural explanation of the doctrine of the covenant.

As I think of this accomplishment and effort today, I believe that a serial publication of these articles and the translation from the Standard Bearer and a little previously published paperback would have been valuable for the instruction of young and old.

These remembrances, associations and other interests helped to capture my intention to read the review of this series of books that are theological tomes in Beacon Lights, and it has also stimulated me to read these translations that are still published or on the shelves of theological libraries.

It surprised me that the book review editor, Rev. Leonard Vermeer, who left the PR church in 1953, would review books of this quality and of this kind in the young people’s magazine.  Today reviews like these would more likely be published in the Standard Bearer or a theological journal.  Nevertheless the reviews are there and Leonard Vermeer heartily recommends the three volumes by SchilderVermeer writes that the contents offer material for the study of the passion and death of Christ found nowhere else.  Continuing, Vermeer says: “Throughout the trilogy a marvelous light from the Old Testament passages of Scripture fall upon the New Testament passages concerning the suffering of our Lord.”

Vermeer continues by saying: “It is true that Dr. Schilder, who wrote these valuable books in the Holland language as early as 1929, would have made certain changes today (1941) in exegesis and concepts that appear in the works.”  Vermeer also wrote that he believed that “Dr. Schilder since 1929 has edged more and more away from the theory of Common Grace. Common grace as you obviously know was a theory that had been developed and expounded particularly by the Neo-Calvinist Abraham Kuyper in the 1880s and following years.  His edging away was especially noteworthy as this theory is embodied in the “Three Points” of the Christian Reformed Churches.  Vermeer wrote that this was very plain from Schilder’s more recent writings, in which he has repeatedly stated that he said he could never believe in the “Three Points” as they are maintained by the Christian Reformed Church.”

It was in part because of Schilder’s opposition to the CRC concept of common grace and (contrary to Article 31 of the Church Order) his removal from the ministry of the Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands (allies of the CRC in the U.S.) that Herman Hoeksema and others in the PR churches began to believe that theological friendship with Schilder and his churches was a necessity and certainly a possibility.  Schilder was not well received by the CRC.  The PRC in 1939 and 1947 received him cordially and also his theological ally Rudolph Van Reest as speakers in the churches. The history respecting covenant theology proved to be the separation between Herman Hoeksema and those who agreed with him after after the return of Schilder to the Netherlands.

History like this and influences of this kind could have made a more devastating effect on Beacon Lights.  Faithful writers and men women who loved the truth expounded by PR churches helped Beacon Lights to survive.

 

CONCLUSION

In this celebratory article and brief review of a monumental effort I have focused primarily on the very first issues of the Beacon Lights that resulted in the production of Volumes 1, 2, and 3.  Much more could be written and said, but the birth and the laying of the keel, because it is interesting and undoubtedly the least well known, I believe, is most important and vital for us to recite and recall while in this celebratory mood.

Many were the editors, the writers, varieties of contributors, subscribers, and those who prayed and payed so that beloved publication and Federation would progress and continue.  We pray to the Lord that He will make men and women and young people continue to rise up and work to continue this good work.  The work is Christ’s.  Like many other responsibilities of the Christian, it is kingdom work led by the Spirit of Christ because of the work of Christ in the hearts of believers who have a desire to serve him in this important way.

I have not been able to begin to recount the many interesting and valuable articles that appeared in the magazine over the many years of the existence and publication of Beacon Lights.  A review and continued research and republication of them would be significant, profitable, and enjoyable. As the goal and mission statement in 1941 says, “Let us give thanks to God for the display and use of the talents that have served edify and served for the survival of Beacon Lights.

We are deeply thankful that God has continued to provide talented, dedicated and Christ-believing editors, writers, and subscribers who continue to provide for the most wonderful and important cause—Beacon Lights, Magazine of the Protestant Reformed Young People.

Finally I and many others give thanks for all that current Beacon Lights staff, editor, assistant editors, proof readers, etc., do.  Thank you my young brothers and sisters as you go on with this important and weighty task.