Kajeno ke tsatsi la dikamogelo. What do we mean by that?
Go amogela means to receive. Who receives what? Different answers are possible:
- these five young people are received as full members of the church
- they receive the promises that the Lord gave them in baptism
- we receive them at the Lord’s table to celebrate selalelo with us
Ba amogetse Jesu
Let’s go to the Bible for an answer. John 1 verse 12:
some … did receive him and believed in him
bohle ba ba mo amogetsego …
This is what happened to James & Koketso, Dineo, Topy & Kutlwano. They received the Lord Jesus Christ. As their saviour. As their Lord. As their close friend.
It is not like they passed an exam.
Yes, they learned a lot. They can give you all 66 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus … up to Revelation. We studied the Lord’s prayer, tumelo ya bokriste, the 10 commandments. – But always and everywhere we focussed on the son of God. Jesus Christ. His sacrifice for my sins. He is my Lord and saviour.
Today they make a public profession: “Yes, I believe in his name. I receive him.”
Many do not receive him, verse 11. Ga ba mo amogele. He came to his own, the world that he created. Nellmapius & Mamelodi and all its people are made by God. But his own people did not receive him. Yes, many people buy Christmas presents and sing Christmas carols. They believe in Santa Claus. But they do not accept Christ as their Lord.
But thank God – some did. Here they are.
Ba amogetswe pele
Thank God, I said. I did not say: thank their parents, or: thanks to themselves. Tumelo ke mpho. Faith is a present from God.
Verses 12 and 13 belong together:
Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children.
They did not become God’s children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father.
When you were born in 1996 or ’97 or ’93, your parents gave you life. They love you. They care for you. – But they also gave you something else. You were born in sin. How can you be a child of God?
Not ka madi le ka nama – by natural means. Mama & papa can’t save you. Only God can give you a new life, eternal life. Only Jesus can help you to become a child of God. Ge o ka tswalwa ke Modimo.
Today le amogela Jesu. But only because Modimo o le amogetse pele. You choose to believe in God because God has chosen you in his covenant.
To publicly profess your faith is a big step. But it is only step 2.
Step 1 is your baptism. The Lord received you in his family. You were not aware of it. O go amogetse as his child.
He guided you from step 1 towards step 2. God gave you Christian parents. Made you part of his church. Through Sunday school and catechism class he brought you to this day. Go amogela yena.
Your adoption into God’s family
Let me explain it by an example. The story of Danny. A sad story. A beautiful story.
Danny is an aids orphan. His mother died when he was a little baby. His father is not known. Even his koko couldn’t take care of him. Danny lives in an orphanage.
But one day a friendly family comes along to pick Danny up. They adopt him. They will provide food and shelter and clothes. More important: they really love him.
Now Danny is part of a family. He has a dad and a mum. Brothers and sisters. A house to live in. A happy new life.
Danny’s story is your story. John 1 verse 12: he gave them the right to become children of God. Thanks to Jesus you are daughters and sons of God. Part of his family. You share in everything God gives.
Re a le amogela
So #1: God chose you. Yena o le amogetse.
Step 2. Lena le a mo amogela. You publicly profess your faith. You believe in Christ. Not because of your parents – it’s your choice.
Therefore #3: we accept you guys as full members of the church. Re a le amogela. You can come to the Lord’s table. You have the right to vote. You will pay your tithes. We want to use your gifts. Full members.
Le amogetswe. You are welcome.
Welcome in the congregation. To share the gospel. To take part in the youth activities, in Bible study and in prayer. Welcome in the family.
Welcome in the kingdom of God. As part of the family, you may live in the house of the Lord. Now and forever. Amen.