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Building up the congregation

Divine service theme for the month of September: "Building up the congregation" and "Salvation in Christ"

The first three Sunday services in the month of September will examine the topic “Building up the congregation” from various angles.

On the first Sunday we will explore the activity of the Holy Spirit in the congregation. One particular effect of this activity is oneness, which is possible in spite of the differences that exist between members of a congregation. In the fellowship of Holy Communion, the congregation follows the example of the Lord and shares love and mercy. Another thing that unites a congregation is collective praise.

On the following Sunday, the focus will be on opposites: joy and affliction, poverty and wealth. Using the early Christian congregation as a model, the sermon aims to show how Christians today can stand their ground despite many difficulties. It becomes possible through mutual solidarity and by fortifying each other’s faith. In addition, we can always hope for God’s help and protection.

The focus on the third Sunday will be God’s special care in the divine services. Through His word―through which He reveals His will―the eternally valid sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and our fellowship in Holy Communion we can experience divine glory. Let us accept God’s care and concern every time it is offered and continue steadfastly in our fellowship.

The last two Sunday services in September fall under another theme: “Salvation in Christ”. On the second to last Sunday, the focus will be on the certainty of salvation through faith and profession. Christians are to profess their faith in Jesus Christ and pass it on. This contributes to salvation―to their own as well as to that of others.

The sermon on the last Sunday will make clear that angels, as part of the invisible creation, serve to our own salvation and that of others. God sent His angels in order to proclaim essential truths of salvation through them, but also to ensure the smooth progress of His plan of salvation. God wants us to be “angels” and help our neighbor in finding salvation.

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