Pillars of the Past and for the Future
A fitting hymn for our celebration Sunday is Thomas Obediah Chisholm's hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness. Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky in 1866. He received his education in a little country schoolhouse, and at age 16 began teaching at the same school.
He became a Christian at age 27, and with no college or seminary training was ordained to the Methodist ministry at age 36. Chisholm served as a Methodist minister for a year, but ill health made it impossible for him to continue. He moved to Vineland, New Jersey, where he opened an insurance office.
Chisholm wrote hundreds of poems during his lifetime.
In 1923, he was inspired by Lamentations 3:22-23 to write the text for the hymn, “Great is thy Faithfulness.” Those verses are as follows, “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
He suffered ill health most of his adult life and therefore had a smaller than average income. Of this circumstance he said, “God has given me many wonderful displays of his providing care, which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness.”
This Sunday we celebrate God's faithfulness to us as a Church. But an important question to ask is: Why have we been able to survive and thrive? The answer is found in the pillars we held onto as a church and which we must hold onto for our future.