Pentecost and Easter go together
Today, the Holy Spirit rules the church. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus has created space for the Spirit of God, whose powerful activity can be felt in the church pew. Here is what we can expect in the divine services in June.
The liturgical calendars of the various Churches agree that Pentecost Sunday concludes the Easter season. Easter, the most important season in the Church calendar, reminds us of the death and resurrection of the Lord. But that is not the end. The Lord promised to provide for His church with the Spirit of God. Things were to move forward, Christians were to be able to continue to reflect, become involved, and believe. On the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Christ, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit as they were gathered in Jerusalem. They were to continue the work without the Master. A new era began for the church, which is why Pentecost is also referred to as the birth of the church.
The activity of the Holy Spirit
This is the topic of the divine services of the New Apostolic Church in June. On the Sunday before Pentecost, the sermon will explore the congregation’s anticipation of the Holy Spirit. The members are encouraged to ask the Holy Spirit to lead them into the knowledge of the truth of the gospel. The Holy Spirit is to lead the congregation and set standards. On Pentecost the believers will commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the establishment of the church of Christ. It is important to remember that one thing has never changed in the eventful history of Christianity: the Holy Spirit has kept alive faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The Holy Spirit has been active in the church at all times, preserving the essential elements of the gospel.
Christian life continues
And then? What comes after Pentecost? The Sunday after Pentecost is dedicated to the holy Trinity of God. The focus is on the three divine persons. The belief that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God is the binding element between Christians. This is of central importance for New Apostolic Christians. In the Catechism it says that God the Father is praised as Creator and Sustainer. God the Son, who became man in Jesus Christ, is Redeemer. God the Holy Spirit is Helper and Maker of the new creation (CNAC 3.2.4/CNAC-QA 66, 529). Our response to this is our life.
He who has the bride is the bridegroom
On the fourth Sunday in June the sermon will explore John the Baptist. According to the words of Scripture, he was a somewhat ambivalent character. Today he would be labelled as a charismatic. He referred to himself as a forerunner, as the one who directed the people to Jesus and testified to them that He is the Christ. Interesting is His statement, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom!” He said, “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled” (John 3: 28–29).
On the last Sunday in June the sermon will focus on the preparation for the next divine service for the departed. How time flies! Our intercession for the departed should be characterised by a longing for fellowship with the triune God.
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