Zurich/Lusaka. It was the high point of the New Apostolic Church’s traditional celebration of Pentecost with the Church leader, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. His core message: “Let us trust the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The high feast of the New Apostolic Church was celebrated in Zambia this year 2015 under the motto: “Holy Spirit – Our Guide and Comforter.” Following a meeting with nearly all Apostles of Africa and a concert on Saturday, tens of thousands of New Apostolic Christians gathered on Sunday in the “National Heroes Stadium” in Lusaka. Millions of other Church members also enjoyed the divine service by video transmission via satellite, internet, or radio.
Responding to the call of God
The divine service was based on a Bible passage from Revelation 22: 17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” To begin with, Chief Apostle Schneider made reference to the host country of Zambia in which the New Apostolic Church, with some 1.1 million believers, is more strongly represented than anywhere else on earth—with the exception of its neighbours in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Even though the demand in other regions may not be quite so high, or perhaps even on the decline, the Chief Apostle emphasized: “For God, things like national borders are not important. The important thing is that we have been called by God and that we respond to this call.”
The power out of the Holy Spirit
“Wherever the gospel is preached in the church of Christ, the Holy Spirit is present,” said the Chief Apostle. His power already takes effect at Holy Baptism with water—in the form of strength in the fight against sin. “The power of the Holy Spirit comes to full development through the Apostle ministry,” said Chief Apostle Schneider in reference to the sacrament of Holy Sealing. “And His power can also be experienced in Holy Communion. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that the real presence of Christ is manifested in the consecrated wafer.”
The Bible text—“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’”—is not only the invitation of the Holy Spirit, but rather also the expression of the congregation’s longing for fellowship with Jesus Christ. The call means: “Come, just as you are. God loves you! He has forgiven you.” And to this the congregation responds: “Come, God has forgiven you—and so have we.” It was with these words that the Church leader made reference to the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and unity.
You can read a detailed report of the Chief Apostle service as well as other reports concerning the celebration of Pentecost on nac.today.