Sonny Holmes wrote this great word after attending our home church's 50th anniversary celebration on Sunday. It was so good I wanted to share it too . . .
Yesterday was a satisfying glance back, but only that, a glance. Harriet, The Chester, my brother Mike, his wife Sally, and a crowd of like-minded seekers worshiped with our fast- forward on pause so we could look back. It was the fiftieth anniversary of Edwards Rd. Baptist Church, Greenville, SC. Hundreds of us relished the sight. But, it was a glance, no more. Mature people know we can't go back.
Scripture leans us distinctly forward. When angels with flaming swords were assigned to guard the gates of the Garden of Eden the message was clear: one, perfection is no longer possible; and two, there's no going back. During the Exodus, the children of Israel often wished to return to the relative comforts of Egypt but were consistently moved forward by the promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. The prophets moved the nation to covenant renewal with the promise of redemption. Jesus would not be detoured away from the finishing business of the cross. And, the Apostle Paul wrote to forget the past and press on toward the prize of the high calling of Christ. As much and as often as we'd like, there's no going back.
But, there is the glance back, the quick reference point of the rear-view mirror to see where we've been. That's what the fiftieth homecoming of ERBC was for me, a momentary cessation of motion to permit moments with important touch-stones of the past. So, Sunday, Pastor Aaron Rayburn, the wise leader of ERBC now, invited people from the past to speak, challenge, and inspire those in attendance with the Word of God, and remembrances from the epochs of the church. We laughed and cried, reflected on valued friends and events, and thanked God for a precious past. The anecdote's and stories previous pastors Bill Palmer and Earl Crumpler told were a blessing. H.S. Yarborough and Jerry Brown, both previous music ministers at ERBC, both sang, surprising everyone with the strength and beauty of voices given to Him many years ago. Alistair Walker, a previous interim pastor, brought a great Bible message. The ERBC Choir sang, as did Turning Point, led by previous music minister Danny Whipple. It was a blessing in every way.
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