“Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace” is the theme of this year’s International Prayer for Peace on 21 September. New Apostolic Christians are also called to observe the day.
The congregations are asked to specifically pray for peace in a separate prayer at the beginning of the regular divine service on 22 or 23 September 2021. In addition to this, the sermons will be based on the theme of peace.
The road to peace
“And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.” This Bible text from Ephesians 2: 17 will be the focus of the divine services in our congregations particularly in Europe and America.
The core thoughts: discord entered the world through sin. Christ is the Prince of Peace, who conquered sin and through whom all of mankind can find peace. Christ’s messengers point the way to peace. “What is needed today to come to peace on both the large scale and the small scale?” is the central question which the divine service wants to provide an answer for.
Gift and fruit
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The divine services in Africa and Asia will mostly focus on John 14: 27.
The core thoughts: The peace of Christ is a gift of God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit. By observing God’s will, believers can contribute to the peace of humanity. The divine services will focus on the gifts and fruit which will evolve from this.
The United Nations have been observing the International Day of Peace since 1981. In the resolution adopted at the time, it was stated that the entire world should observe a day of peace. The intention is to strengthen the peace both within countries and between nations. In 2004 the World Council of Churches (WCC), based in Geneva, decided to participate in prayers for peace and chose the 21st of September for this purpose.
The New Apostolic Church has been supporting this movement since 2005. In a letter addressed to all New Apostolic congregations, the then Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber wrote: “The desire has developed in my heart that our Church, and thus all New Apostolic Christians throughout the world, participate in prayers for peace.”
The reason for the different Bible texts are based on the different possibilities the Churches have in distributing the Divine Service Guide, the periodical on which sermons are based. In countries with sufficient infrastructure, the periodical Divine Service Guide is distributed once a month as a print version. In other countries, an annual yearbook is compiled that bundles the monthly periodicals from two years before.
21 September 2021