Despite the continuous lockdown and restricted movement across the world, divine services continue to be experienced by members. Accordingly, Apostle Manfred Schönenborn conducted a video divine service on Sunday April 19, 2020. It was watched by many on the special English channel on YouTube. He was assisted by Bishop Martin Rheinberger.
The bible text for the service was taken from Luke 24:13-16, ‘Now behold, two of them were travelling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.’
In Apostle Schönenborn’s introduction, he acknowledged that the District Apostle was scheduled to conduct a Confirmation Blessing service on this day. However, the occasion has been rescheduled to take place in the last 4 months of the year. He spoke to the confirmands: “Please do not be disappointed. The Lord is with you, and there you will have a joyful experience on a special day with our Lord. Prepare yourselves for this day”.
Beginning his sermon he explained that the bible text recounts the special situation which occurred days after Easter, when our Lord resurrected. He said the Lord appeared to these disciples, after His resurrection, because He knew them; they had followed Him previously, and so He cared for them. Consequently, He went closer, and walked with them.
The Apostle further counseled that in circumstances we do not understand, or difficult unplanned situations, or in sorrows or in need, “…let us remain in the fellowship of our Lord. Let us not return to our old habits, let us remain in the gospel. Even if we sometimes have the feeling He has left us, He remains with us and He helps us.”
The Lord knows us and our challenges; He knows everything about us. We are His disciples and followers, He knows us all. He knows our thoughts, hears our conversations and sees the path we are taking. This knowledge of our Lord must give us strength and joy at all times.
“Let us have open hearts to the thoughts of our Lord and our salvation” he said. These enabled the disciples to have a special connection with Jesus. So doing, the Lord will approach us in many ways where He talks to us. He comes to us through the:
* Apostles, who preach the gospel and show us His will and plan of salvation
* divine services, in the word and revelation of the Holy Spirit
* congregation, in our fellowship with brothers and sisters
* strangers we sometimes encounter, and are unknown to us
“For our Lord” he said, “there are no limitations. He wants to meet us and be close to us all the time. These meetings strengthen and empower us to develop our lives and become worthy.”
Apostle Schönenborn concluded: “Where the Lord is, there is always a future. For all of us there is a place and a goal we want to achieve and He wants to accompany us. Those who believe in the Lord and follow Him can experience the power of our future goal today. With the power of the Lord, we are sure of the way to our goal.”