14 February 2024 at 00:00:00 JST

There are many similarities between the believers today and Mary, the mother of Jesus, back then, the Chief Apostle says. The point here is faith, trust, and patience as well as powerful people who fall and rich people who come away empty-handed.



The Bible text for the divine service on 17 December 2023 in the congregation of Magdeburg-South in Germany was taken from Mary’s Song of praise: “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty” (Luke 1: 52–53).



Believe in the promise

“I admire this woman,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said about the mother of Jesus. “She was a simple girl, quite unremarkable, but chosen by God.” The angel promised her that she would become pregnant and that her child would reign forever. She believed this, and soon received confirmation. She became pregnant. And Elisabeth, her relative, recognised her as “the mother of my Lord”, it says in Luke.


“Dear brothers and sisters, none of us is a special person, are we?” But: “You have been chosen by God and God wants you to reign with Jesus for eternity.” And then: “Indeed, the good Lord is with us. We have experienced that.”


But then the problems started.



Trust and be patient

“First of all, Mary had to tell her fiancé that she was pregnant. Then they had to flee to Egypt.” It wasn’t until about thirty years later that she saw Jesus perform miracles. Sometimes He used harsh words when talking to her. In the end, she saw Him die on the cross. “Throughout this whole time, she believed and remained faithful to Him,” the Chief Apostle pointed out. Only after the Lord’s resurrection did it really become clear that the promise had actually been fulfilled and that this was truly the Son of God!


The believers experience something similar today, the Chief Apostle said. “Sometimes, for the longest time, nothing happens. And sometimes the good Lord is a bit harsh with us when He tells us, ‘Let My grace be sufficient for you. Then the example of Mary really takes on meaning for us. I want to do what she did, the Chief Apostle said. You are a child of God, chosen by God, the promise will be fulfilled. Let us believe in it and trust in God, through the highs and lows of life.



Exalted from lowliness

In Marys Song of Praise, Mary announces that the Saviour will bring down rulers from their throne. “But this does not refer to society, to earthly rulers. This is about the reign of evil,” the Chief Apostle explained. “We believe in the victory of Jesus Christ, we believe that He has conquered evil.”


Nowadays, philosophies and views that are hostile to Christ noisily draw attention to themselves. “Let’s not allow ourselves to be unsettled because so many people disagree with us. This does not mean that it is the truth. The truth comes from the Holy Spirit.” Even if these views seem powerful, God will bring them down, the Chief Apostle said. “His truth will prevail.”


“The lowly will be exalted, that is a message to all people.” Because this describes the path to salvation. Those who want to be like God cannot be saved. God reserves salvation for the humble who submit to His authority, who do His will, and follow His messengers.



Let us hunger for grace

„Even the reference to the hungry and rich in our Bible text is not about the earthly, but about the spiritual. The rich are above all “the self-righteous, who think that because they are so good, so well-behaved, so beautiful, so correct, they deserve redemption”, the Chief Apostle emphasised.


„You cannot earn salvation, you can only be saved by grace.” The prayer “Lord, have mercy on me” is not an expression of fear, but an expression of our longing to be with Him and an expression of our awareness of God’s glory and perfection. “Let us hunger for grace!”


Wealth as such is not bad. Power, money, knowledge, or special gifts are not necessarily an obstacle on our path to salvation. “It just depends on what you use it all for. Let us put these gifts, whatever they may be, at the service of God and our neighbour.”


Author: Andreas Rother


nac.today: New Apostolic Church International

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