The congregations in different cities and towns in Nigeria, connected to the first livestream transmission divine service conducted by District Apostle Michael Ehrich this year.
With great enthusiasm and expectation of God’s blessing from the brethren in Nigeria, the Divine Service took place at our church in Ravensburg, South Germany on Sunday the 26th of February, 2023.
At the commencement of the divine service the district Apostle using the hymn by the choir “Sweet home of peace, oh Bethany” he made reference to Christ visits to Bethany, at different situations and occasions, where his friends: Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived in. They had wonderful and joyful moments together.
The District Apostle said: Christ went there at some point, when there was a need-The passing away of Lazarus. This was a terrible situation for the sisters. This also applies to us today in our congregations and districts, when we come together. We have different situations of life. Some are very thankful to God for His goodness, some also have needs and sorrows. The Lord want to come into our hearts. We recognize our God through Christ. God became Man in His Son Jesus Christ and He was close to us while on earth. Christ is a true God and a true human, so in our situations, he understands everyone.
He knows our need.
The Lord is very close to us. Whatever the situation of our lives may be, How strong or weak our faith may be at the moment, even with differences. The Lord wants to come into our hearts even when our faith is wavering due to circumstances of life. He wants to strengthen us.
The district Apostle went on to prepare the minds of members in the congregation for the divine service for the departed next Sunday. He stated that his wish is that we do not take the divine service for the departed as a routine since it occurs once every four months. He enjoined everyone to be prepared with a special attitude for the divine service. He made reference to a welcome song by the youths which had lyrics about the shining light of God. Let our little light so shine. This is impulse for the divine service for the departed. The little light symbolizes our faith. Faith is light from God. He who believes in God carries the light of God in him. The power of the Holy Spirit is also like a light in us.
He who believes in God also prays. Prayer is like a light. Let’s think about the souls in the beyond who are far from God. When we are close to God, it is like a warm and a light but when we are far from Him it is like darkness.
We think about darkness, coldness and uncertainty when far from God, but with the light of God in us we provide warm for those over there.
Christ always have compassion. He cares for those who are suffering. Let our light shine for those who died in horrible situations and asking questions on their state and condition in the realms of the dead. Let our little light so shine upon does in the realms of the departed who needs help.
From the text word of the day which was taken from the gospel according to Luke 24:29 (Except).” And He went in to stay with them.”
The District Apostle explained the bible account of the two disciples who were sad when Christ died and was crucified contrary to their expectation.
He said the Lord Jesus Christ coming close to the disciples of Emmaus, relate to soul care. Our Lord wants to be close to us and communicate with us. We interact like Christ did, during soul care. It’s the primary task of the ministers to go for soul care but brothers and sisters can also be part of it. Everyone embark on soul care, when we look after our neighbor.
The disciples of Emmaus were disappointed. They hoped that Jesus will redeem the children of Israel but they saw him being crucified on the cross without fulfilling their desire. Christ approached them on their way, He spoke to them and they felt touched. They opened their hearts and did away with their initial state of mind. They had interior development. They allowed Christ to touch them. They asked Christ to abide with them, because it was getting to late night.
Like the disciples, we all have sorrows, needs and challenges and we could also ask questions when our expectations are not met. We ask ourselves, where is the Lord? The Lord has given us an answer in His son. It is up to us to remain with him. We don’t have to fear and ask of God’s whereabout. The Lord is with us. The word of God is pure truth. He will be with us in all ages.
Like the disciples let’s call Jesus to abide with us and let’s also abide with Him. Christ went with the disciples and stay with them all day. Christ promised to be with us till the end of time. Do we also stay with Christ? Do we abide in Him? From the teachings of Christ in the gospel of Luke, Christ told his disciples to remain in the city until they received the power from above. Likewise, let us stay and remain with Christ until we receive the power from above.
The power from above is the picture of the return of Christ. Let’s remain with Him, as He remains with just as He has promised. Let’s remain with Christ until he comes again. What is a City? A central point where people meet and live together with better infrastructure to support their physical wellbeing, unlike villages and country home with inadequate amenities. In spiritual sense, we need to remain in the city where there is Godly infrastructure for our spiritual wellbeing. Jesus is in the central place; he cares for us. The Holy Spirit is the care for us. If we remain in the word of God, we are the true disciples. The word of God is the structure of care for us. Let us not worry about our situations. The word of God gives us orientation in our lives. Remain in the city. There is a structure of care in the City. In the city we receive the rebirth of water and Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins and we celebrate Holy communion. At the City, there is fellowship of the children of God. We bring our sacrifices and offerings into His house.
In conclusion, the District Apostle encouraged brethren to remain in the City of Jesus Christ, to experience Him until we are filled with the spirit from above, when He returns.
Apostle Martin Schnaufer, Manfred Schönenborn and Martin Rheinberger were called to serve along in the divine service.