Neuapostolische Kirche - 21. bis 24. Mai 2009 in Düsseldorf
Report added 05/24/2009
The festive divine service – “What is foremost in your life?”
The European Youth Day 2009 at its zenith: on Sunday is a festive divine service in the LTU arena in Düsseldorf with Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber. 46,000 New Apostolic Christians and their guests experience fellowship for the last time together here in the programme of the first European Youth Day.
The altar is actually constructed in the centre of a football pitch. Special features of the altar: it is round and consists of three sections. Chief Apostle Leber and the Apostles who serve are thus able to move and face all of the participants around the arena.
As the basis for the sermon Chief Apostle Leber selected the words of Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”.
“Lord we pray for Unity”, sings the congregation at the beginning of the divine service. “Give your help so that this unity remains with us”, the Chief Apostle requests of the youth. “In the past days I have been often asked, ‘Is it worth it, to live as a Christian’? In replying I can only refer to a statement of Christ: ‘No one would choose to be for the Lord without wishing to be blest,’ said Chief Apostle Leber, referring to the words of the Bible text in Luke 18: 29,30.
“What lies foremost in your life? It lies in your hands!” His advice is to do for God all that is possible. He reminded thereby of the song which was sung at the start of the service; Unity – unity within the congregation. To reach the goal of our faith, that is to reach forward, it is necessary to achieve four further goals.
Four partial goals
Firstly, one must find favour in God. This is possible through faith and Godly trust. “Serve the Lord by placing all your own energy in Him!” he appealed to the participants of the divine service. “I am so elated by the talents which I have discovered in you in the last couple of days”, said the Chief Apostle enthusiastically of the youth. “Use these talents to serve the Lord!”
Another goal is to be a blessing to others. This can happen at best by professing to ones faith, “And the last point: to be found worthy on the coming of the Lord. Therefore follow Jesus Christ – also His Commandments. Church ministers are helpers in faith and happiness”, he said in ending his sermon.
There followed further sermons from District Apostle Leonard R. Kolb (District Apostle region USA), Urs Hebeisen (District Apostle region South East Asia) and Bernd Koberstein (District Apostle region Hessen/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland).
Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber then made mention of the fact that representatives of the United Apostolic Church Europe were also at the divine service. In connection with the celebration of Holy Communion and reconciliation he turned directly to these guests: mistakes had been made in the past – also on the part of the New Apostolic Church. He asked for forgiveness of this.
“You have made this a day of festivity”
The lead-in choir from North Germany is made up of a thousand male and female singers. As they pitched into George Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah” a storm of camera flashlights broke out. It seemed that everyone wanted to take something of the atmosphere home with them. “You have turned this day into a festival – you are brilliant youth!” called the Chief Apostle to the young participants.
In response to his question as to whether these days together were worthwhile, there broke out a minute long rapturous applause and dozens of La Ola waves around the arena. Chief Apostle Leber said farewell in many different languages and declared the European Youth Day 2009 in Düsseldorf as officially ended.