Midrand played host to a very special divine service held by Apostle Michael Dimba on 13 March 2016. Attended by 11 congregations from the North Rand District, the service brought together more than 720 members, with 19 children and five adults sealed and 10 priests and 29 deacons ordained.
The word for the service was taken from Matthew 5 vs 39-41: But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
Apostle Dimba said that Jesus Christ came to open up a new covenant and he needed people to make an adjustment from the old ways of doing things to the new. With this in mind, the Apostle highlighted the importance of Jesus Christ’s teachings and the commandment of love, which he said surpasses all other commandments – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12 vs 30-31).
He said the teachings of Jesus Christ build us up so that we are aligned to the gospel. Aligning ourselves to the gospel leads to spiritual growth and development as well as the completion of our soul – the completion of our soul results in the return of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle said the word does not mean that we must compromise our rights because we must protect ourselves but we must learn the lessons within it that Jesus Christ is teaching us; we must prioritise what is best for us spiritually.
The word teaches us to:
- Overcome evil with good. There are many challenges around us that will test us but we must correct wrongs with rights and pray for our enemy. As God’s children we must rise above the things that are ungodly.
- Look for peace rather than materialistic things. Using the example of Abraham and his nephew Lot, the Apostle explained that there are many situations in life that will want to deprive us of our peace. When Abraham travelled to the land of Canaan, he took everything he owned. Abraham was very rich. Lot, who had many animals, travelled with him. After a while Abraham and Lot realised that there just wasn’t enough for everyone to stay in the same place. Because Abraham was older, he had the right to choose first, but he did not want to argue over land and allowed Lot to choose where he wanted to keep his sheep. Lot chose the beautiful valley while Abram ended up with rugged hills and not much water. Lot chose to live in the rich fertile plains near Sodom where the men were very wicked. But after a while war broke out and Lot and his family were taken prisoner and all of their possessions were stolen. When Abraham heard the news, he rescued his nephew and his family and recovered their possessions. Throughout it all Abraham retained his peace.
- Serve one another with all our heart and genuinely, not in a calculated manner. Don’t serve your neighbour as if you’re being ordered by Jesus Christ to do so. We must serve our neighbours wholeheartedly that we’ve even forgotten that we’ve done so. Do good freely and out of love. Additionally, if someone asks for our forgiveness we must grant it to them.
District Elder Denver Benn was the first minister called up and said the law of love was once again inculcated into our soul. He said all the laws of the old practised by the likes of Moses and others were changed by Jesus Christ and he made it simple. He said there are only two main things to do – learn to love God above all and our neighbour as ourselves. “Some of us find it difficult to comprehend this, we retaliate when people wrong us and when we behave in this manner, we become the enemy of God. Then you deprive yourself of what God wants to lay in your heart … It is important that we take this word to heart, apply it to yourself and your home.”
Also called up was District Evangelist Kobus van der Merwe said Jesus Christ was given a task by God and while it may seem easy to teach people to live that standard, it was not. “The Lord doesn’t give us the impossible. What matters is our attempt and that we strive every day to obtain our victory with Christ.”
District Elder David Gracey said there was much substance in the word and the more we talk about it, the more we realise the blessings in it. “The word might not make sense to you but we are reminded that the service is about peace. It is not about receiving but what we do to create peace. Make peace, make time for peace, do the work. Don’t ask what’s in it for me? It’s our responsibility as a child of God.”
The District Elder also thanked Apostle Dimba for his service to God’s work and people as he will be retiring from his ministry after more than 40 years. He said that Apostle Dimba served God’s people with perfection and humility.
* Written by Rivonia Naidu-Hoffmeester