Those who believe talk and share. They talk to God and they talk to other people about their faith. The divine services in the month of February examine our devotion to God. The month will be about profession, praise, gratitude, and intercession. Because prayer works!
Faith is a gift of God. Those who have been granted faith as a gift are urged to turn to God and cultivate their relationship with Him so that their faith may be preserved. This happens through forgiveness of sins and Holy Communion as well as through preaching. That is why receiving the sacraments and hearing the preaching of the word are part of a Christian way of life.
More than just spreading the word
There is more to it than that. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” These words from Acts 2: 39 are the basis for the first Sunday in February.
The core message: every believer is called on to pass on the promise of salvation, especially to future generations. The children are to become familiar with and love Jesus Christ, the doctrine, and our church. This requires that they are taught, convinced, and encouraged.
Powerful and marvellous
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” is the Bible text for the second Sunday. Most people find it easy to make requests of God. But when it comes to praising Him, many tend to be somewhat sparing with their words.
But if we think about it for a moment, there are plenty of reasons to praise God, for example for His mighty acts as Creator of the material world and the spiritual world. And we can praise Him for His salvific acts as sustainer and finisher.
Faith, love, and hope
It is not far from praise to thanksgiving, especially for Christians who are accompanied through life by the trio of faith, love, and hope. This is what it says in 1 Thessalonians 1: 2–3. “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 1: 2–3).
And so the third Sunday looks at four things: faith in Christ and His work of redemption, love for Christ, love for our neighbour, and hope in the return of Christ. And this is not without consequences for our everyday life.
Intercession here and there
Love for others leads to intercession. And in the New Apostolic faith, this does not end in this world but extends to the beyond. The fourth Sunday in February serves to prepare the congregations for the divine service for the departed a week later.
This will be based on Chronicles 30: 18b–20: “But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.’ And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.”
Photo: S Fanti/peopleimages.com - stock.adobe.com