The divine service in preparation for the service for the departed that was held in Rocklands congregation on Sunday 30 October 2016 was remarkable in a deeply spiritual way.
Like a divine mosaic seemingly unrelated events came together to form a heavenly picture.
In addition to the members of the congregation, all the rectors of Apostle M Diedrick’s area with their wives were invited to attend. They would be served by the first rector of this congregation when the building was dedicated some 35 years ago: District Apostle Barnes.
The District Apostle had recently returned from a meeting with the Chief Apostle and had accompanied him to a divine service in Perth, Australia. This inspired the District Apostle to use the same Bible word in Rocklands as what the Chief Apostle had used in Perth. Hebrews 6:19 and the first portion of verse 20 thus served as the foundation for the sermon: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus.”
The message of the sermon was both moving and reassuring: Despite all the opposition to godliness that is experienced today, Jesus Christ will in spirit remain with His own until His return. This knowledge provides courage and hope to persevere. The District Apostle went on emphasize that the Lord will keep His promise to return and that this hope should be our anchor in this time. He said: “Our hope is like an anchor that keeps the ship securely in place when docked or when facing the destructive under currents that is found below sea level.”
After the divine service the District Apostle’s attention was drawn to the décor in the entrance hall of the church. It was in the form of an anchor surrounded by rocks. Needless to say, this was done without any prior knowledge of what the Bible word or the content of the sermon would be.
The District Apostle was informed that the sister responsible for the decoration had recently lost her son quite tragically. The theme of the funeral divine service for her son was the inspiration for the decoration in the foyer area. The hymn, “In times like these we need an anchor” was sung by the choir in the funeral service and she daily clings to these words as her support in this time of sorrow. (Read the experience in full)
This visit of the District Apostle to Rocklands Congregation will reverberate through the souls of the members for quite some time.