On Friday 25 December 2020, District Apostle J Kriel conducted the Christmas Day divine service at Northpine congregation. This divine service was conducted in English and interpreted into South African Sign Language by Beryl Botha. 

He was accompanied by Apostles P Lambert, M Diedricks, P Thompson R Worship and Bishops G Kotze, V Fischer and B Adonis, a small music ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng Infinity FM and SABIE stereo. Members could also listen to the divine service by calling in from either a mobile phone or landline. This divine service was also streamed live on the NACTV Facebook page.

For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find the sermon based on the Divine Service Guide written by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider for Christmas Day 2020:

Bible word: "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world." John 1:9

Bible reading: Isaiah 9:6–7; Galatians 4:4–7

Message
Christ illuminates us.

Introduction
Today Christians all around the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Depending on where they live, they may celebrate Christmas in the deepest of winter or in high summer. Some live in a state of abundance, while others are without any means at all. Some are surrounded by a large family, while others have no one. However, the joy of Christmas is the same for all of us if it is based on our shared faith: God is love. He has sent His Son to this earth in order to deliver us.

The light of Christ reveals God to us
The Son of God came to the earth in order to reveal the true nature of God to mankind. God is the Almighty, for whom nothing is impossible. He is our Father, who watches over us and provides for our needs. He is love, grace, and mercy.

Christ illuminates all human beings
Jesus Christ showed that God loves all human beings without exception, even those whom society has ignored, despised, or even rejected. He took care of the poor, the widows, women and children, foreigners (Mark 7:26; Luke 7:2), and even those who did wrong. The life of Jesus Christ attests to His solidarity with all human beings, especially with those who suffer. As a little child, He experienced what it was like to be a refugee. Later on, He was not understood by His parents (Luke 2:50), and was rejected by His fellow human beings (Matthew 13:54–56). He suffered from the wickedness and in spite of His contemporaries and was familiar with hunger, suffering, and death. He brings this wonderful light: “God is with us” (Matthew 1:22–23) to all those who think they have been forgotten or rejected by God.

Christ illuminates our lives
The gospel of Jesus also illuminates our lives with a soothing light. God does not punish us in order to force us to improve (Luke 13:1– 4; John 9:2–3). He invites us to come to Christ with a believing and repentant heart in order to find grace. His objective is to liberate us permanently from the captivity of the evil one and lead us into His kingdom. The resurrection of Jesus and the promise of our own resurrection illuminate our lives as a whole (2 Peter 1:19).

Christ illuminates our nature
Jesus teaches us to recognise ourselves. He allows us to know whether we are acting in the right manner or not. When we measure ourselves by His example, we can properly assess our own spiritual maturity.

Let us be a light
Christ also expects His own to be a light in this world (Matthew 5:14). Both the sun and the moon illuminate the earth but in completely different ways. While the moon only reflects the light of the sun, the sun is the actual light. In order to be a light to those around us, we can reflect the light of Christ by talking about the gospel with them. However, our testimony will have a much greater effect if Christ truly lives in us. It is in this way that we can fulfil our mandate to be a light to the nations in order to bring salvation to the very ends of the earth (Acts 13:47).

Summary

  • God the Son became man in order to:
  • Allow us to recognise the love of God,
  • Illuminate our lives and our very being, and
  • to deliver us.

Let us be a light to others.

Jean-Luc Schneider