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Living by the gospel

Divine service theme for the month of October: "Living by the gospel"

Over the first three Sundays of October, we will explore the theme series “Living by the gospel” while highlighting various points of emphasis. The last Sunday of October will focus on preparing the congregations for the divine service for the departed in November.

It is important to bring God, the Most High, the glory and thanks He is due. On the first Sunday in October we will take a closer look at the presence of God in all time periods. This is followed by the appeal to never forget God in good days, and to never abandon Him in dark days. We can rest assured that salvation and eternal fellowship with God will be accessible in the church of Christ at all times. Worship and praise on the part of mankind are a necessary response to the mercy and compassion of God.

On the second Sunday in October will explore the parable of the tares among the wheat. The call to action the reader might initially expect—namely to root out the weeds—is not expressed. Rather, the appeal is for tolerance—even with regard to the tares. Both good and bad are to grow next to one another. It is not up to human beings to make a distinction between good and evil people, because judgement is reserved for God alone. The gospel of Jesus Christ is to be proclaimed to all people, both evil and good. Let us trust Jesus Christ. His gospel is eternally valid, and He will see to it that the harvest is brought in.

Loving God and one’s neighbor is the emphasis of the divine service on the third Sunday in October. God’s love for mankind and the world became evident in exemplary fashion in the incarnation of the Son of God. When we treat our neighbor with respect, we attest that the salvation of God is also intended for him. Providing concrete help in both the spiritual and material respects makes it clear that we take our faith seriously, and that we not only wish salvation for ourselves, but for all people.

On the last Sunday in October we prepare ourselves for the divine service for the departed. We look at the fact that both the living and the dead must believe. Only in this way can they receive the sacraments that lead to their salvation. The believer acknowledges the triune God, who has compassion on man, grants him redemption, and who watches over the church of Christ on its way through history. This belief is a most holy faith—and it is to remain alive and strong within us.