May 19, 2013: Hamburg (Germany)

Photos: NAK Nord

SettingThe New Apostolic Church has a new Chief Apostle. Wilhelm Leber, international Church leader since 2005, conducted his last divine service in Hamburg-Borgfelde this Pentecost Sunday (we reported). Several million people around the world shared in this sermon live via satellite and internet transmission. He called upon the believers to engage and exhibit the power of the Holy Spirit in their everyday surroundings.

Pentecost greetingIndeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Surely your salvation is coming.'" (Isaiah 62: 11, excerpt)

Core thoughts: The basis for the sermon in this Pentecost service was a Bible text taken from Luke 24: 49: “…But tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” This Bible text had already served as the basis of a Pentecost service once before, namely on Pentecost 2005. It was on that occasion that Chief Apostle Leber was ordained into his ministry. “I had not realised this beforehand,” said the Chief Apostle, “so for me it is nice to have come full circle.”

“The Holy Spirit is power from on high,” said the Chief Apostle as he explained the Bible text. It was his wish, he said, that the power of the Holy Spirit be even more strongly felt. “This power shows itself in many aspects: in our work together in the congregation, in our love for one another, and when we cling faithfully to the promise of Jesus’ return.

In the further course of the sermon the Chief Apostle referred to the image of the Holy Spirit as a wind: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3: 8). “The life of the congregation should be characterised by the wind of the Spirit,” said the Chief Apostle in exhortation to the believers around the world. This love should be so strong that it blows away all obstacles. And this is not always a matter of great and spectacular deeds, “but if we all work together in this mind, and if each one of us remains open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it will become as strong as a hurricane. And that will lead to our perfection, to the day of the Lord!”