Tired? Then come here!

Come here, this is Jesus’ call to the weary and burdened. Who they are and what Jesus has to tell them is something Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider revealed in a divine service that not only lends the weary and burdened strength.

“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28). This is the Bible text the Chief Apostle used in a divine service on 8 August 2021 in our church in Leipzig, Germany, which was broadcast to all congregations of the New Apostolic Church Northern and Eastern Germany.

Heavy laden

The Chief Apostle began by saying that the word applies to all those who feel small and overwhelmed by blows of fate, those who feel rejected because of their otherness, and those who are dissatisfied because they constantly feel at a disadvantage. Jesus calls out to them all: “Come to Me! I will give you rest.”

Above all, the word applies to Christians: “He calls to us today: ‘Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’”

Tired of serving

“This applies to the ministers but also to every brother and every sister who perform a task and serve in the Church,” Chief Apostle Schneider explained. “At some point you get tired. That is completely normal.” Jesus perceives that and does not talk anyone into continuing. “No,” the Chief Apostle explained, “He keeps telling us: you need some rest. Come to Me! Come to Me in divine service. Come to Me in prayer.” In prayer, in the divine services, and in Holy Communion the faithful can draw strength to be able to continue with their work for Jesus.

Tired of fighting

“I don’t know about you,” the Chief Apostle said, “but I often notice that I tried so hard to do better and then failed again. This makes you weary and leaves you exhausted from the failed effort.” Again, Jesus said: “Come to Me and learn of Me. Come, I will give you grace. I will take care of everything. I will forgive your sins. I don’t expect you to be faultless, but I do expect you to love Me. Everything else I will take care of. Come, I will give you rest.”

Tired of waiting

While we wait for Him, Jesus instils hope in us. “We have been hearing for so long: ‘The Lord is coming soon…’ Now and then you notice that brothers and sisters are getting tired because it is taking so long.” But here too, there is a reaction from the Risen One, the Chief Apostle explained: “Come closer to Me, develop and grow into My nature, and then you will experience and feel that I am already with you. I am here. Experiencing My presence will help you persevere to the end.”

Tired of the sermons

“I have heard that some find the sermons boring,” the Chief Apostle said. “If you look at the sermons, this is indeed a fact: they are an endless repetition. For years we have been hearing the absolute same thing.” But this does not have to be boring, the Chief Apostle explained, because the goal is for us to develop and become more like Jesus: “That is the actual goal, there must be a development, the new creation must develop within us.”

Tired of fellowship

Chief Apostle Schneider said: “Sometimes we feel a little overwhelmed by the fellowship. Once in a while you hear: ‘I wish I wouldn’t have to see that guy any longer. And her, I wish I wouldn’t have to hear her any longer.’ Indeed, we are all very different and none of us are perfect.” Shortly before the end of his sermon, the Chief Apostle summed up why it is worthwhile to be part of this fellowship: “You are together in the congregation because Jesus wants to give you salvation, because Jesus has called you to serve Him together. When you look at it this way, even fellowship ceases to be tiring.”

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Katrin Löwen
Chief Apostle, Divine service