On Sunday 26 December 2021, Apostle Bradley Bourne conducted the end of year divine service at Silvertown congregation. This divine service was conducted in English. 

He was accompanied by Bishop Vernon Fisher, a small musical ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as 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 Divine Service Guide written by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider on which the sermon was based on for the end of year service: 

Bible word
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15–16)

Introduction
When Jesus left Galilee in order to make His way to Jerusalem, He asked His disciples how the people of the surroundings perceived Him. But what He was most interested in was what His disciples, who were witnesses of all His miracles and attentive listeners of His discourses, thought about Him. Our initial resolution We are marking the end of a year that has been difficult in many respects. We began this year with the motto “Christ, our future”. Many of us also gave thought to the following: Christ is our choice, our certainty, and our solution for the future (cf. DSG 3 January 2021). And how do things look today?

Our experience
Certain events of the past year may have unsettled us or even shattered us. Why did God not intervene in order to prevent all of these tragedies? In answer to this question, the Holy Spirit speaks to us about the majesty and perfection of God. God is much greater than anything we can comprehend (Isaiah 55:9). Soon we will understand what He has done (John 13:7), and we will recognise that He has done everything perfectly. In the year 2021, the Holy Spirit did not cease in His activity of revealing God to us as He is, namely omnipotent, loving, and merciful. It is impossible to surprise God; He has always been there in order to comfort and strengthen us. He has been constantly working on our salvation. He has carried us when we became weak. He has forgiven us without counting up all our mistakes. He has even succeeded in laying His joy and peace into our hearts, even as fear and despondency prevailed all around us. Times of crisis often have the effect of being eye-openers. They reveal the hidden thoughts, strengths, and weaknesses of people We likely discovered certain sides of our neighbour that we might not have expected. It is not up to us to pass judgement, but let us simply remember that a believer who is rooted in Christ is much better equipped than others to deal with difficulties. And let us also remember that someone who is filled with the love of Christ is both willing and able to do good works, even in difficult circumstances of life. Finally, the things that have occurred in the year 2021 have also shown us how profoundly the creation has been affected by evil. It too needs Christ, who will free it from the curse that weighs upon it (Romans 8:19–22).

Our conclusions
All in all, we still have many reasons to give thanks to God. He has loved us, comforted us, and blessed us. In answer to the question posed by Jesus: “But who do you say that I am?” let us answer without hesitation: “You are Christ, our future!” He is our Saviour. We trust in Him. He is the One who will redeem us from evil once and for all. In His love, He will give us more than we can even imagine.

We leave this year as we have entered it, namely with the resolution to align our lives by the example of Christ, and with the desire to be with Him forever!

Summary
• The Holy Spirit reveals to us the majesty, love, and mercy of God.
• Faith and love make us strong in times of trial.
• We extol God for His great works.
• Let us become like Christ and be with Him.

Jean-Luc Schneider