Tomorrow starts today
The divine services in the month of July focus both on the faith of the individual and the whole of the church of Christ—reflections on the future that are supposed to have repercussions on the present.
The church of Christ is the community of all who have been baptised, who follow Christ, and who profess Him as their Lord—well known words for a Christian. Baptism, following Christ, and professing belief in Him precede eternal fellowship with God. What that means for the individual and the Church in detail, will be the subject of our Sunday sermons in July.
Salvation and redemption for all
Jesus wants to save and redeem all of mankind—no one is excluded, neither in this world nor in the beyond. This is the core of the gospel, which the Apostles proclaim. All are called upon to witness this salvation. “We can only perform this task if we have compassion with the sinner,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider says. Our task is to show our neighbour the way to God, and encourage him to walk upon it. These thoughts can be implemented in a very practical way already before the divine service for the departed.
They ignored their own well-being and life and sought to touch the hearts with their preaching—this was the way the first Apostles served. The Apostles of today strive to fulfil their service in the church of Christ in the same way as the first Apostles did. They follow the example of Jesus in the way they serve, have compassion, and offer support. The Apostles’ preaching and example produce the same kind of zeal in the congregations to bring adoration and praise to God, to love the neighbour, and to profess our faith. “All these tasks and services are signs that the return of Christ is anticipated with great longing in His church.” These thoughts are hardly meant to encourage us to lean back and relax.
Double work, no half measures
“God has elected us in order to entrust us with a mission, namely the building of a temple,” Chief Apostle Schneider says. We receive the instructions for this through the Spirit-inspired word, and the necessary strength and courage we draw from Holy Communion. However, we are not only building our own personal temple, but also the church of Christ. Here it becomes very concrete: don’t talk about the unpleasant things, but talk about God’s love; in a congregation there are many topics, but the most important thing is the return of Jesus; working upon ourselves does not mean that we glorify ourselves, but keep on developing.
A future that begins in the present
“Our childhood in God defines our lives,” the Chief Apostle notes. Even if this statement is not formulated as a question here, sometimes it is a question that must be asked. It will only be at the return of Jesus that this childhood in God will be revealed. It will be manifested through the resurrection body and, finally, in eternal fellowship with God. These are thoughts that rejoice and encourage us, but also remind us of our present obligations: to obey the will of God, to seek fellowship with God, and to seek to live and act as Jesus Christ did.
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