As 2013 winds down, the staff of GraceConnect would like to wish you a Happy New Year. As we do, we give a nod to our predecessor publication, the Brethren Missionary Herald magazine. Written in a very different era, this editorial by Dr. Louis S. Bauman, from the January 6, 1945 issue, still rings true. “Thanks be unto the God who hath given unto us of His Spirit, we can be happy.” We are grateful for your support over the past year and trust that you’ll continue to follow the news of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches through GraceConnect eNews in the future. May you find hope and happiness in a relationship with Jesus Christ until it is time to cry with the Psalmist, “It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken.” (Psalm 119:126 ESV).
Many, many millions have been wishing each other a “Merry Christmas” as these editorials were being written. As for the editor, it is hard to see how this Christmas season can be merry “except in the heart of an innocent child.”
From every nook and corner of this habitable globe comes a story of human (or, inhuman) hate, human cruelty, human misery, and human suffering, until the heart sickens and we cry out, “How long,’ O Lord, how long?” How much longer can a just and merciful God look down upon these earth scenes, and withhold from action His mighty arm? Human failure on all sides we see. Every device that man has ever created, every panacea that man has ever concocted, every scheme for human betterment, have proven themselves utterly worthless to stay the avalanche of extreme wickedness that threatens to engulf the whole world and destroy the last vestiges of civilization. There is no hope left the world so far as man’s efforts are concerned. It seems the more man moves, the deeper he sinks into the mire. It is surely time to cry with the Psalmist as of old: “It is time for Thee, O Lord, to work!”
But, let us not despair. It is the declared purpose of God to let man come to a full end of himself, and realize that apart from God, he is vanity. “Without Me, ye can do nothing!” When man gets to that place, help will come from above.
No, this Christmas season cannot be merry to any heart that has within it any of the compassion of Christ. Only a heart calloused by utter selfishness can even make a pretense of merriment. But, thanks be unto the God who hath given unto us of His Spirit, we can be happy — happy that we know Him “whom to know is life eternal” — happy in the service of God and our fellowmen — happy to know that the reign of all that is anti-Christ is but for one brief day — happy to know that God has not yet abdicated the Throne that ruleth over all — happy in the thought that by every possible sign that God can give us the kingdom of heaven draws nigh — happy in the glorious expectation that ere the year 1945 shall become history our Lord shall remove His own from this wicked ‘world and we shall press to our bosoms those we have “loved and lost awhile” — happy in the knowledge that immediately thereafter the ungodly nations will be speedily judged — happy in the thought that then our Lord will come back to earth with all the saints at-tending — happy to know that then, as He sits upon the throne of His father David, He will overthrow all oppressors and speak peace to the nations — happy to know that then shall all men “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nations shall learn war no more-happy to know that in the Sun-rise of that approaching day, shall all “sorrow and sighing flee away!” Assuredly we wish every reader of THE BRETHREN MISSIONARY HERALD a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
To read this in the original version, click here to download a pdf file of the 1945 issues of the Brethren Missionary Herald magazine. This file is part of the Brethren Digital Archives, which also includes past issues of Grace Journal and Grace Theological Journal.