Thinking, feeling, and speaking clearly
Clarify things between the two of you, just you and God, openly and honestly without any go-betweens. You will find what you have lost. This is the invitation the Chief Apostle extended recently, not because he is paid to do it, but out of love.
The divine service on 24 April 2022 was dedicated to the encounter of the Emmaus disciples with Jesus: “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’ So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together” (Luke 24: 31–33).
Tired and on the retreat
“The Emmaus disciples are usually regarded in such a negative light,” the Chief Apostle said. “But they were true disciples.” For even after Jesus’ death, they were not ashamed, but clearly confessed their love for the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, “they were disappointed. They were tired.” Even the reports about the empty tomb no longer held any appeal for them. “This is when they left the other disciples.”
“And then Jesus, the Risen One, appeared to them.” He asked them some question and they opened their hearts to Him. And He put them into the picture, explained the Bible to them and the salvation plan of God. “Their hearts were on fire. He really made an impression on them. When the Lord wanted to continue on, they asked Him to stay with them. The moment Jesus broke bread with them, they realised who it was. “They immediately returned to Jerusalem into the fellowship with the other disciples.”
“The outcome of this story has a lot to say to us today,” the Chief Apostle explained. “There are many brothers and sisters, believing Christians, also New Apostolic Christians, who are disciples of Jesus Christ.” However, “you can detect a certain weariness. You could say, it’s nothing dramatic, but you can nevertheless detect the first symptoms.”
For one: “One might no longer be so interested in the sermon. It no longer touches us.” Or one might no longer feel a need for fellowship with the children of God and stay home. “You no longer feel the need for fellowship with the Lord in Holy Communion.”
Questions from the heart
“The Lord Jesus comes to each of us in the Holy Spirit and asks us questions.” For example, what purpose does your life have? Consider the situation of the people and this world, and see what all is going on. What solution could there be? What is our future? Or: “The Son of God became man and died to prove God’s love to mankind. What does that mean for me? What does that mean for people in general? What does it mean for the world?”
“Let us examine these questions very honestly,” the Chief Apostle urged. “Then take some time for yourself. You don’t need to tell anybody, but tell God in a prayer. Tell Him openly—it is just you and Him, Him and you—where you stand, what questions you have, what your problems are, what your doubts are.”
Answers from the heart
“And if you do that very earnestly the Lord Jesus will come and answer you.” And not necessarily from the altar or through a minister. “But in your heart. You have the gift of the Holy Spirit, so let the Holy Spirit speak to your mind and conscience.”
“Your heart will begin to burn! All of a sudden you realise, oh, this message, the whole thing, it really does make sense! The love of God is fantastic! There is a solution! There is a future!” And then: “When the relationship with Jesus Christ is good, the desire to have fellowship with believers will arise spontaneously, you don’t have to do anything.”
“I am not doing my job because I am in charge of the Church and get paid to make sure that the churches are full again,” Chief Apostle Schneider said. “I am doing this job because—excuse me for saying so—I love you. And I care. That is why I take the liberty to ask you this question on behalf of my Sender: “How are you doing?”