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The Community of All Believers

Divine service theme for the month of September: "The Community of All Believers"

The first three Sundays in the month of September focus on the theme of “The community of all believers”. The respective sermons shed light on the most important aspects of what constitutes the fellowship of those who believe in Jesus Christ and profess Him.

On the first Sunday in September the emphasis of the sermon is on the significance of prayer. Collective prayer in the divine services is a distinguishing feature of the community of all Christians. Their devotion to God becomes clear in these prayers, as does their desire to speak to God and hear Him. Prayer, whether public or private, always also incorporates thanksgiving, praise, and worship. Among other things, the worship of God includes the concern for salvation, the well-being of one’s neighbor, and the preservation of the creation.

The fact that Holy Communion is an essential aspect of the community of all believers is a matter that will be explored on the second Sunday. Receiving the sacraments is necessary for salvation. Through the sacraments God imparts His gift and encouragement to us. If we receive these in faith, they can also take effect within us through faith. Among other things, Holy Communion is a meal of profession. Those who celebrate it profess their faith—before one another and the world—in Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, and His return.

On the third Sunday in September the emphasis is on the import ant functions of faith and hope within the community of all believers. Believing certainty prevails with respect to the sacrificial death of Christ, His return, and the sending of the Apostles. There should be no less certainty with regard to our hope. It is founded on the reliability of God, who always keeps His promises. Our anticipation of the return of Christ also includes the corresponding preparation, which occurs through the apostolate.

On the two last Sundays in September the focus will be on explaining the broad strokes of the New Apostolic Creed, the Apostolicum, and the Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople.

The focus on the fourth Sunday is “Belief in the Holy Spirit”. The statement: “I believe in the Holy Spirit” is found in the Third Article of the New Apostolic Creed. Belief in the Holy Spirit, who is likewise true God and “who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified”—as we read in the Creed of Nicaea­Constantinople—is common to all Christians. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Comforter. He is the Teacher of the believers, who reminds them of the words and deeds of Jesus Christ.

The last Sunday divine service in September focuses on the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit. Among other things, the Holy Spirit grants us wisdom and knowledge. In addition, this divine service also touches on the gift of the Holy Spirit, in other words, the sacrament of Holy Sealing. Through this sacrament we receive childhood in God and the calling to become a firstling. The sermon should make a clear distinction between the person and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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