Spotlight 4/2023: Reigning over our own lives
Serving with Christ is clear, but the reigning aspect of this year’s motto is giving some New Apostolic Christians a headache. In his article, District Apostle Rüdiger Krause of Germany explains the importance of reigning.
The Chief Apostle issued the motto for this year: “Serving and reigning with Christ”. I can imagine that this motto has caused peculiar feelings in one or the other. Serving with Christ is accepted and advocated by all of us. However, the idea of also reigning with Christ raises questions and perhaps an uneasy feeling. To reign means to rule or govern and perhaps even to judge. It also implies managing or commanding. All of this is not really part of our understanding of faith and needs to be clarified a bit.
The thoughts of our Chief Apostle are directed towards the kingdom of peace, where we are to reign with Christ. I think it is quite significant, however, that the motto first addresses the aspect of serving. Serving should also be clearly evident in the context of governing or ruling. And in the kingdom of peace the gospel will be preached. We are not talking about ruling the world here, but, according to the Chief Apostle, of testifying to the supremacy of Christ. Those who took part in the rapture will preach the gospel and no one can stop them. This is one strong point of a ruling power. If the cause is good, nothing can stop it.
This has implications for our lives today. We serve today in divine service or by helping along and not least through our sacrifices. We serve by accepting our neighbour and being kind to him or her. But governing in our lives today also means ruling over our own lives and subordinating them to the will of Christ.
With these thoughts reigning takes on a different quality and no longer has anything to do with a strict despotic or dictatorial government. It is a matter of fulfilling the commandment of Christ, both today as well as in the kingdom of peace. And this commandment remains a commandment and therefore a law to achieve the goal of our faith.