Digging deep to get at the core
Seeing the world of the Bible with new eyes. That is the goal of a new monthly series which is going to be applied in the divine services of the New Apostolic Church. The launch is set for two weeks from now. We are on our way to fascinating new insights and a deeper understanding.
As members of the Church, we of course know many biblical stories. But anyone who digs a little deeper will find hidden treasures. To support this, a new series entitled “Bible Study” will begin in our divine services in February. The start will be made in the midweek service on the 18th or 19th of February, which will treat the royal wedding with a particular focus on the wedding garment (Matthew 22: 11–12).
The focus is on history and culture
If the topic is not dictated by a religious holiday, the sermon will contribute to highlighting a parable of Jesus, a biblical figure, or a biblical situation and focus on the historical, cultural, and societal setting. Other topics planned for this year are the Good Samaritan, the (doubting) Thomas, John the Baptist, the widow of Zarephath, and Ruth and Naomi.
A presentation on Bible studies instead of an edifying divine service? Nobody has to worry, Apostle Jürgen Loy said, when nac.today asked him. He is the chairman of the working group “Divine Service Guide“ that plans and steers the monthly periodical of the same name. “The series not only aims to convey knowledge,” the Apostle says. “The most important aspect is its application in our life of faith. What does it mean for me today?” The Divine Service Guide will offer corresponding instructions for the ministers.
An initiative by the Chief Apostle
The idea for this new series was proposed by the Chief Apostle at the beginning of 2013. Following initial considerations, the idea of divine services with a focus on “Bible Study” emerged. At the end of 2013, the Chief Apostle approved the proposal, and the preparations began. One must keep in mind that the monthly Divine Service Guide for ministers has a preliminary lead time of about a year. This is mainly due to the time needed for the important work of translation into dozens of languages.
The foreword of the February edition of the Divine Service Guide gives additional reasons for introducing this new series: “Without the testimony of Scripture, it would be impossible to preach the gospel,” it says with a view to the ministers. Focusing on the participants of the service, it says, “Many elements of the sermon will remain incomprehensible if one is not familiar with the Bible.” Faced with a general decline in Bible knowledge, it is important to encourage and deepen this knowledge.
Clear and informative
The new series is promising, Apostle Loy says. Illustrating a single event or familiarizing brothers and sisters with a biblical figure makes it easier for them to remember important aspects of the divine service. And the additional knowledge gained often leads them to discover exciting new insights and a deeper and maybe surprising understanding.
For more information on the Divine Service Guide see “Keyword: Divine Service Guide”