The #Dare2Care weekend culminated on Sunday 14 August 2022 when District Apostle John Kriel conducted an AVT divine service for all young people at Kimberley Central Congregation. The divine service was conducted in English and interpreted into South African Sign Language at the altar by sister Natasha Parkins-Maliko.
The District Apostle was accompanied by Apostles J Joubert and W Von Schaeffer, a music ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263. For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening Hymn: Joyful, joyful we adore Thee (EH:20)
Bible word: “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
District Apostle Kriel:
My dear brothers and sisters, today is a youth service to which all are invited. I must say that this was still part of the Covid planning where we had to adapt, and maybe this could be the last time we have our youth service in this format where our parents, the older ones and children are also invited. But so be it. We are willing to share with whatever we receive, and we are able to partake therein. For us old people, being part of your divine service, makes us feel a little bit younger, even if it's an illusion sometimes. And for the young ones, the children, it gives them a little taste of the future. But because it's a youth service, we have a Bible reading.
Bible reading: Romans 12:1-16
My dear brothers and sisters, the beautiful music, the words of the hymn and also the Bible reading which I hope you listened as attentively as the congregation here, sum up our divine service today. It sums up who we are and also where Apostle Paul takes the opportunity to remind us of and use the symbol of the body to bring about the message that we are all one. Different, but one. We heard what the reader said. We have different gifts, different talents, but we are all one. And to this end, our God allowed us all to be baptized with one Spirit, one baptism, that we can all experience: this Spirit. And when we were baptized and went through the rebirth of water and the Spirit, a new creature in us was created in this body that we have. We are made up of a body, soul and spirit. But in this body, this new creature was created, and created in the image of God. And God, through the sacrifice of Jesus, made this all possible. And it's important that this new creature in us develops to the nature of Jesus. As different as we are, that it becomes created in the image of Jesus so that eventually, that once the inner being is complete, God comes and gives us a new body, the resurrection body that can enter His kingdom. And that's been given to all of us. Today, we are a congregation made up of young and old, of rich and poor: those who have intellectual talents and those who have manual labouring skills. It doesn't make one better than the other, but it shows our differences. And we want to use the different skills that we have to the benefit of all. That's why God gave us the skills in the first place. And here in God's house, there is this diversity. As much as we become one, as much as we are one, as the Apostle Paul gives us this symbol of unity, we all have the same potential, irrespective of our living conditions, irrespective of where we come from, irrespective of our origin, irrespective of our language, irrespective of what differences may appear to be from the outside. We all have the same potential to enter into the kingdom of God; enter into God's glory. Jesus showed us the glory of God. He was the new Adam, the one that God created that did everything that the Father wanted. And Jesus was that example, and we have that potential. All of us. No one is a little bit weaker than the other.
We were on a walk yesterday. Some were at the beginning and others struggled along. That's just physical stuff. But when it comes to the spiritual potential, we all have the same potential to be with God in His glory forever. Let no one put himself down and say I'm no good. One body says the Apostle, but all different. But He wants to emphasize and tell us the one body is nourished in the same way. Maybe just a silly example. We eat one meal for the whole body. One meal serves the whole body. And spiritually it is no different. Whether we are youth, seniors, parents, whatever our circumstances may be, we are all nourished by the same meal that our God provides for us. Maybe it is dished up in a different way, but our nourishment, our growth and our development come from that meal. And here the Apostle Paul says, as one body that God is not looking for an isolated bride. He is not looking for loners. No. The worthiness will come in a togetherness. One body, many members, but we are together, and we will make up one bride and one people. And so maybe it's a good idea that we are all together today, because we all need the same things from a spiritual point of view. And when we know that we are not alone, and we are together. He is looking for a congregation, an assembly of believers. Those who come together. From here we learn that our relationship with one another is just as important as our relationship with God. Maybe I want to pause there for a moment. One body, many members, but one body. Our relationship with God is just as important as my relationship with my brother, with my sister, with my neighbour. So that follows that we need to have that good relationship with one another, so that we can make up that congregation of believers.
But of course, as we are together, we are diverse. We are different. And it's okay to be different. It's okay. We don't have to be the same. We are different. Let it be. And we do not need to impose our views on anybody else. We can keep our opinions, our taste, our language. If I love you, you don't have to become like me. You don't have to speak like me. You don't have to look like me. God made you and He made us part of one body. So, we want to ensure that we do become one because we can be different. I think of parents. We wanted our young people to surrender their identities and to grow up the way we grew up and set laws that were applicable in our time. They must live by that too. I grew up in a time when you had to be home at a certain time. And okay, we did it for a while and our parents were very strict about it. If you came home after 10pm, the door was locked. You had to sleep outside. It was so bad. As we got a bit cleverer, we kind of manoeuvred our way around that. Dear young people, live your lives. Choose your career. And no matter what it is, the Lord will bless you. It is only one thing that we ask and we get all the different answers, and we all have our views and opinions. Have the same faith. When I come shall I find faith? Have that faith. Let the faith be the basis of everything that you build your life on. Have your faith. Have the same love for Jesus. “Jesus never fails” was what was played for us. Have that same love and that same intense love for Jesus no matter what you do, no matter what your career is, no matter what your fun and your recreation may be. Have the same faith, have the same love, and have the same determination to bring about unity in the church, wherever we are in whatever aspects, in whatever gifts and talents we have. Use that to the benefit of the unity of the church, that we can all come together and that we can be one, and that we can grow in as many members, but one body.
I thought in the early hours of this morning, and while our parents and the older ones, maybe have to say to our young people, to our children we are sorry. We didn't always get it right. We tried our best that we can and believed what we were doing was right. But in hindsight, maybe here and there we drove one or the other away by certain critical rules we made for ourselves and interpreted it as the gospel. And I want to say to you, if you know of any of these young people which we have hurt, please tell them we are sorry. We have come to realize what is important. They left because not because of anything else, but because of some silly little rules that we had. I know of many that were thrown out of the church because their haircut wasn't so great. Their hair was too long. I know of many who didn't wear the right clothes that we wanted them to wear. It is different. That is how it is. But the core values are the same: one body. And let us focus on our togetherness. We sometimes focus so much on our differences. We have one faith. We have one Jesus. We have one church. And we want to ensure we are united in Christ, in other words “Together in Christ”. And we stand together, and together we serve the Lord. We want to be united. You don't have to give up who you are. We are and we remain who we are. But we want to ensure that the core values remain the same, that which makes us one. Baptized with one Spirit. Baptized with one baptism. And because we are one, we want to show solidarity with one another.
We read in verse 26 of the chapter of our Bible word, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it…” If one member suffers, we feel their pain. And we want to do something to alleviate that pain. And that's why I'm extremely proud of our young people throughout our region on this ‘Dare2Care Together’ weekend day. Not the one cares and the other one doesn't. No, we care together, and we have dedicated this activity that we had to Masakhe and we gave our contributions. Some gave much and some gave little. It doesn't matter. Remember, some are rich and some poor. We are intellectuals and labourers. And it doesn't matter who we are. Some are married and some are not married. Young and old. Together, we serve the Lord Jesus. And when we serve the Lord Jesus, we serve one another, and we feel their pain.
And materially, we want to give a bread to somebody who has no bread. Because we don't only want to say when somebody is hungry okay, I will pray for you. Because it's not going to fill my stomach. And when I have two breads, I give one. And I've said before, if you cannot give a bread, give a slice to alleviate the pain and the suffering. We are one body, and if the little toe pains, the whole body pains. And so, again, together we come, and we understand that we need to help. And again, I express my thanks to all those who have helped and contributed that via our aim of Masakhe, we do so much. Jesus said take special care of them. He said the king said I was hungry, and you gave me to eat. I was thirsty. I was naked and you clothed me. I was a stranger, and you came up to me. In these weekends that we have, identify the strangers, identify those who have, who keep to themselves. Go and say hello. Go and say I am your brother. I am your sister. We are one Spirit. We are part of one body. You don't have to feel alone. I was in prison, and you came to me. Again, Jesus says what you do unto the least of Mine you do unto Me. And it doesn't matter. As young as we are, we can do that. Learn to love. You don't become a caring person when you are in your old age. Caring starts early. Find that attributes and let's embrace them. Together, let us remember and comfort and pray for them. And not only give them material help, but also pray for their faith, and pray that they can remain true to Christ. And pray that the core values can remain, that we remain part of one body, this body that the Lord God and Jesus have put together. Again, all with different gifts. I've seen some that play their instruments so beautifully. Let us not be envious of the talents and joys of another. Let's rejoice. Let's be happy because they are part of this body too. And so, we are thankful that we then work together. We work together as those whom the Lord God has chosen, as those whom He has placed His Spirit into, as those who have welcomed that we can be part of this one body.
And remember, our aim is salvation. We want to be with God for time and all eternity, with His Son Jesus. Jesus was the perfect being, and we have the opportunity that we are able to go and be there and be part of this. And we must do our share. And it's the purpose of the church to make salvation available to all man. And therefore, we all are called to be witnesses. We are all called to be part of this great work. And Jesus told us how to do it. He says, to love one another as I have loved you. And if you love enough, I want you to share God's kingdom with Me. If I love you enough, I want you to be a firstling as Jesus has made it possible and given us the possibility that we can all be firstlings. You see, Jesus is the head of our church, and He is already in the glory of His Father. We, the body, the church is still upon the earth, and we have to grow and develop to that point that we too can be there, that we can have the glorified body. And so, in our diversity again, we find ourselves in different circumstances. But that's part of God's salvation. In fact, it is part of God's will that we are all different. And when I say different, some suffer. We sang in our hymn, “Jesus never fails”. I wish my name was Jesus. Because we fail so often. Even if you find yourself in that situation where you fail then live God's will. Then no one can say to God one day, I couldn't remain faithful to You because I failed. He will say no, I will show you them. They failed and they remained faithful. I can't because I'm poor. No, I'll show you. They were poor but they remained faithful. I was abandoned and I couldn't believe anymore. No, I will show you there are those who are part of this body who were abandoned, and they remained faithful. I was an orphan. So, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, good or bad. One or another can say I was too rich to believe. God will say no, I can show you one who was very rich, but they believed. It doesn't matter. And where we find ourselves, it is possible that we can remain with the help of God and with the help of one another. And don't abandon anyone. And again, I want to come back to our parents. We want to say to them too, thank you. Sometimes we don't understand one another. But maybe it's a good idea to go and tell them that you love them. And we need them. And as parents we say to you, we love you. And we need you. You bring us much joy. We are thankful to have you.
As your District Apostle, I am extremely thankful and proud to have a youth body that is so vibrant, diverse, and talented. Who use their talents sometimes to earn their living, to bring joy, but also to serve God. And that is our message that we remain together. And we are diverse. We've developed a dashboard in the church. And when I looked at how diverse we are, I looked at our dashboard, and I saw 19% of our members are children. Young people are 36%. That makes us excited that there is a future. A young people so vibrant, who believe and follow and take Jesus as the foundation of our faith. Look how diverse we are. And God has brought us all together for a purpose. Let's learn from one another. Let us take the good that we have. And remember, dear young people, we love you dearly. And I'm the spokesman for your parents today too, to say we love you. And the ultimate love that one has for one another is, come share the Lord with us. “Come share the Lord” we often sing, and we can all do that. And we want to do that with joy. Amen.
Thoughts from District Apostle John Kriel