That song, as in past conventions, ended the last evening of the final day of one more convention. This song always causes me to have feelings of sadness. It’s the end. Three wonderful days during which covenant youth fellowshipped together have again come to a close. It hardly seems possible that three days could go so quickly. But it is over and now all we have left are memories, probably some new friendships, and possibly our booklet and badge.
Now, and even when we sang that final song, our thoughts go back to the many interesting occurrences at the convention. We page through the convention booklet which is now placed on top of the pile of other booklets accumulated from previous conventions. From Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and even South Dakota, Protestant Reformed young people had one destination – South Holland. And it was not only for the invigorating air nor the healthful odor of onions wafting through the breeze that they came. It was more for the fellowship of Christian Youth together; together in recreation, together hearing and being instructed through edifying speeches, together glorifying and praising God through speech and song.
Yes, there are many memories attached to this past convention. Memories of Evelyn Veldman who, the judges thought, needed a teething ring to improve her speaking ability; of Jim Jonker who is now learning to toot his own horn; of the treasure hunt which didn’t take place because of a heavy rainfall the previous evening (the treasure happened to be a large bottle of dill pickles); of Seymour with his ever present camera; and finally of that last evening during which the banquet was held.
Then, of course, we have memories of the more serious and important aspects of the past convention. We remember the various speeches in which we as young people were reminded of the fact that we must live the life of thesis. The sinful world, the workers of iniquity, always oppose God and therefore also oppose His people. But in spite of opposition, in spite of tribulation and affliction, our calling as young people is always to live thetically. It occurred to me too that our position in regard to the world is in many ways similar to the position of the United States over against Russia. The world always opposes the truth. And yet today the world and the church, at least in this country, apparently are not involved in any “hot” war – I mean that members of the church are not killed or tortured for their faith in God. Rather the world comes offering the olive branch of peace and unity, and in so doing in many different ways slyly tries to get the church to compromise in the truth. In all this we as young people are called to live the life of thesis.
Then, of course, we have memories of the many fine speeches, debate, and musical numbers presented. And we are also reminded of the fine attendance and wonderful spirit at all of the meetings. Truly it was a wonderful convention and it will be a long time before we forget it. It was not without reason then either that we were sad to see it come to an end.
But memories aren’t all we have. We closed with the song “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” That is our hope and our confidence. Our faith was strengthened. No matter what happens we know and were assured at the convention that God will be and is with us. And the Lord willing we will also meet again as a federation of young people’s societies next year in Hudsonville. That too is going to be a wonderful convention because the Lord is with us. Memories we have of the last convention, yes, but also an eager anticipation for the next one.
But we must also remember that the conventions are only a part of our Federation activity. The conventions certainly need our whole-hearted support. However, also Beacon Lights belongs to the Federation of Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies. That means that every member of each member society is responsible for Beacon Lights, too. What has your society been doing to promote Beacon Lights?
Do you have 100% of the families in your church subscribing to Beacon Lights? There is always much pleasure and enjoyment in reading Beacon Lights and attending conventions, but there is certainly much work connected with both. And you too should be willing to help in whatever way you can.