International reports

Pentecost 2008: Recognising the signature of God

12.05.2008

The fully occupied church in Berlin-Lichtenberg

Enthusiastic singing in the divine service

Farewell after the divine service (photos: NAC Berlin-Brandenburg)

Berlin. For three days over the Pentecost weekend of 2008, Berlin served as the “capital” of the New Apostolic world. Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber had invited all European Apostles to the German capital for the occasion. In the Pentecost service, which was translated into English at the altar - and into 20 other languages via mixing board - he appealed to the over one million divine service participants to recognise the “signature of God” in the present. “Recognising the Lord personally is an important task for each and every individual,” said the Chief Apostle.

Berlin-Lichtenberg: a large church with seating for 1,500 people. The divine service begins at 10:00 AM and is transmitted to 7,500 congregations in 70 countries around the world. In the church parking lot stands the broadcast vehicle of the Church-owned Bischoff Publishers, which will make it possible for the divine service to reach an estimated one and a half million New Apostolic Christians. Within the building the mood is set for Pentecost.

Fellowship with one another

Chief Apostle Leber, who took office three years ago in the Pentecost service in Fellbach, greets all New Apostolic congregations with a Bible passage from 1 John 4: 11 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” With this the Church leader associates an appeal for warm fellowship in the congregations: “We need this fellowship,” he emphasises. Again and again he explains the importance of being involved in the work of the congregation and to have an open heart for all members of the congregation. “Our fellowship with one another is only good if even the weakest can feel comfortable in it,” he notes.

The Bible passage which serves as the basis for the Pentecost service has been taken from Ephesians 1: 16-17. After some introductory words of thanks, the Bible text expresses Apostle Paul’s wish for the Lord to send the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge. “This also applies in our day,” says Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber. “It is just as important today to recognise temptation, preserve peace, and help others. Our plea to the Holy Spirit is that we may recognise this with wise eyes. Furthermore, it is our task to understand the magnitude of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, gain insight into the eternal plan of salvation, and recognise the signature of God in the present. The Holy Spirit creates this knowledge in the soul.”

Before Holy Communion the large congregation prayed the Lord’s Prayer according to the wording of the 1984 Luther translation - or in the English-speaking world, according to the New King James Version - for the very first time.

Category: International reports, Pentecost, Pentecost events