Giving a voice to the voiceless: this is what the international leader of the New Apostolic Church did in his most recent divine service. He not only addressed the poor and the marginalised, but also the growing number of those who see themselves at a perpetual disadvantage.
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” These familiar words of Jesus from Matthew 11: 28 were the focus of Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider’s sermon this past Sunday. “There are many of those today,” he said. citing three examples.
The Chief Apostle included the victims of natural disasters and dramatic accidents and people with serious illnesses among the heavy laden, who are overwhelmed by their misfortune and are helpless and powerless in the face of it. On the other hand, he addressed those who feel disparaged or rejected, or who face persecution because they are different in one way or another.
Never asked, always deprived
In the divine service in Leipzig in Germany, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider focused particularly on the dissatisfied, those who have grown tired of always being the “small ones”: these people have the impression that others always decide for them, that their wishes and needs are ignored, and they themselves are constantly deprived.
Whether this is justified or not is not the question, the Chief Apostle said, and pointed out that in the end it is no longer a question of a particular issue, but a permanent perception and a prevailing mood. It is a fact that frustration among people is growing. “This can be observed in many countries.”
The certainty of being loved
Jesus Christ calls out to all the destitute, the marginalised, and the dissatisfied: “Come to Me, I will give you rest.” The Chief Apostle said that critics of the Christian faith see such statements as an instrument of the powerful to subjugate the people. The poor are promised that everything will be different in heaven so that they stay nicely put.
“That is not the case!” the Church leader affirmed in the divine service summary, which is sent to the 330-odd Apostles around the world on a regular basis: “Faith in Jesus Christ does not subjugate; it makes us free and strong!”
Because “your worth as a person is not dependent on your performance, on your success, or on the opinion people have of you”, the Chief Apostle made clear in the divine service. “You are very valuable: the Son of God came to earth for you and died for you because He loves you.” Whoever has this certainty is able deal with all these events already today in a confident and sure manner.
Excerpts from the divine service are featured on nac.today, the news website of the New Apostolic Church International, as a video.
14 August 2021