Joy over our encounters with God

The divine services in the month of July talk about places of joy and salvation. Whether souls happen to be here on earth or in the beyond, God creates places of refuge and joy for all.

The theme “Places of divine revelation” serves as the foundation for the two divine services following the divine service for the departed on 2 July. The main message of the gospel is that the kingdom of God and salvation in Jesus Christ are near. These glad tidings are the reason for our great joy and also serve as the theme for the fourth and fifth Sundays of the month.

Trust in God leads to eternal life

The first Sunday in July is traditionally dedicated to the departed. The passage from Nahum 1: 7, on which this divine service is based, makes it clear that God is a stronghold, that is, a secure place, for all those who trust in God in their need. Here the same principles apply to both the departed and the living alike.

This is the house of God

Jacob found himself on the run from his brother after having cheated him. At a distant place, far away from his family and home, he encountered God. As a result of this intensive encounter with God, this site became a holy place for Jacob. For him, this spot became a place of divine worship, of God’s presence, a place where Jacob made an offering and vowed faithfulness to God.

God has also prepared a place of encounter with Him today. How holy is this place to the believers? And how can it also become a place of salvation for many a soul without a spiritual home today?

Let us remain here!

“Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles here,” suggested Peter on the mount of Jesus’ transfiguration (from Luke 9: 33). For a brief moment, the divinity of Jesus was revealed to those who were present at His transfiguration. In a manner similar to His baptism, a voice identified Jesus as the Son of God. Inspired by this event, Peter expressed that he would prefer never to leave this place of transfiguration.

This event also comprises the content of the third Sunday divine service. Any place where God is revealed and experienced is a place of well-being and peace. Christ also desires to be “transfigured” in the nature of the believers and thereby also make it possible for their neighbour to experience and feel His presence.

Messengers of good news can even overcome mountains

The Bible text that serves as the theme for the divine service on the fourth Sunday of the month mentions that the feet of the messengers of good news must overcome mountains (from Isaiah 52: 7). They proclaim peace and salvation, and preach good things.

However, it is not only our ministers who must overcome personal “mountains”! Some situations can seem like impassable mountains to any believer. Whether these are “mountains” of deadlines and obligations, or insurmountable peaks of incomprehension or otherness, one thing is certain: the message that must be spread beyond these mountains is that all human beings can have fellowship with God.

All those who spread this message can become messengers of peace, joy, and good news.

Experiencing and sharing joy

There is a proverb that states: “Shared joy is double the joy.” The fact that great joy can result from finding something we have lost is illustrated nicely on the last Sunday in July by way of the parable of the lost coin. How often have we perhaps had to give up the search for something that was lost and resign ourselves to that loss? Jesus was sent to seek that which was lost, and so He pursues even those who have already been written off by most. God can be found by any person who seeks Him.

Those who find God in their lives experience great joy and are also to become messengers of joy themselves, namely by allowing others to share in their joy.

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Simon Heiniger
Divine service