A 00.05 am New Years' communion service!
It is tradition in EGCT churches to come together as a congregation at the turn of the year. Each congregation comes together around 9pm New Year's Eve until 1 or 2 am in the New Year, to sing, pray, listen to God's Word and so close the old and start the new year together! In our congregation of Agbonou, it is also the custom to celebrate Lord's Supper together during the last Sunday of the old, or the first Sunday of the new year.
This year, 1 January fell on a Sunday and the elders decided to turn the usual New Year's Eve gathering into a church service and consider it also as the Sunday morning gathering at the same time. In so doing the members could come home around 2.30 am and rest. Afterwards the women could concentrate on cooking for their families. It was also decided we would take the Lord's supper during this 'turn of the year service'.
And so it happened that, after a time of united prayer, around 11pm, the sermon began. After the amen of the sermon, Pastor Amedome read 1 Corinthians 11:27 to 34 and explained from the Bible for whom the Lord's Supper is meant. Just before midnight, we were admonished to "discern the Body of the Lord", to take the bread and wine in a spirit of repentance, an attitude of humility and awe, inseparably coupled with deep gratitude for Christ's sacrifice for us.
For me personally it was a great blessing to take communion exactly around midnight New Year’s eve! I think it was the contrast of us being quietly and solemnly focused on the death of our Saviour, while all around us we could hear the city break out in excitement and a lot of noise. What an enormous blessing it is to enter 2023 washed in His blood and safe in His broken body!!
We wish everyone from Togo a richly blessed 2023, a year in which we may grow much in the awareness of the certainty, greatness, depth and breadth of Christ's love for us!