“Joy in Christ” and how it sounds in South Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 25 January 2015: Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider has just concluded the divine service and is about to leave the church. And the choir is … singing?

Of course, the choir is singing! Well, that too. But there is more to it, their emotions have gotten the better of the brothers and sisters and there is dancing, clapping, and exuberant ululation. This is how “Joy in Christ” sounds in South Africa!

Ithemba” (= hope), is the title of this traditional Xhosa song. About 18 per cent of South Africa’s population belong to the Xhosa people. “Sicela amalizo Nali ithemba” it resonates through the Motherwell church: “Here is hope”—or future—“please support us,” the line reads in translation. “Uyalibona nail ithemba?“ ¬ ¬̶ “Can you see it? Here is hope!”

In the midst of the dancing choir is Bradley Brooks. He is thrilled. No wonder. Bradley has been working for the administrative offices of the New Apostolic Church Cape as coordinator for music projects for six years and has a heart for Xhosa traditionals. When the Cape Town Male Choir was at the International Church Convention in Munich last year, this was one of the songs the choir sang with Bradley as conductor.

Bradley pulls out his cell phone and starts to film. As soon as he is home he uploads the video on his computer and posts the clip on Facebook, the largest social networks on the Internet. Joy just has to be shared.

(A report of the divine service will follow)

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Andreas Rother, Daniel Mauthe
Chief Apostle, Divine service, Congregational life