Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Ponderings: “Morning Star, on my front porch…”*

frontporch3On many Moravian (and non-Moravian) front porches and foyers this time of year, Advent Stars—or what we call “Moravian Stars”—are on display. While they make lovely decorations, they also remind us that the joy of Christmas is coming.

The Advent after I joined the IBOC, our family received a white Herrnhuter star as a gift. The many-pointed star, made in Germany, was wired to be displayed outside. We hung it on our front porch for all to see. Coming home in the evening and seeing it brightening the front of the house helped get me in the Christmas spirit.

When January rolled around and I took down our decorations, I stashed the star away with our other lights and trimmings. We went back to our regular old porch light, looking like every other house on the street. When Advent arrived, the star went back up, only to return to the attic after Epiphany.

The following year, however, I didn’t get around to pulling any of our decorative lights down until March. All through the winter, our front-porch Moravian star blazed on. It was then that I thought, “Why not leave it up all year ‘round.” That procrastination in removing our Christmas decorations had a wonderful effect: it made me realize just how welcoming that star can be.

Since then, our Moravian star has brightened our neighborhood. We replaced the standard bulb with an LED lamp that’s even brighter and won’t need changing for years. It stays on all night, every night.

I’ve also noticed that there are many others who leave that star up all year and I’m glad that they do. Seeing this symbol of our church and our beliefs glowing in, say, the middle of July, offers a gentle reminder that God’s love shines brightly everywhere, and that his only son is always with us.

And, of course, its fun to tell visitors coming to our home for the first time that once they get to our street, all they need to do is follow the star! Here’s wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


Mike Riess, Editor



* I tried to write a new verse to Morning Star, O Cheering Sight. It went something like “Advent Star, on my front porch/light my front yard like a torch…” Then I stopped, realizing I shouldn’t mess with this beloved hymn. See the real thing on page 7.

Moravian Daily Texts


Saturday, March 24 — Psalm 38:17–22
Exodus 29:31–30:16; Matthew 26:14–30

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is true to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

And a woman, having learned that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Luke 7:37–38

Friend of sinners, thank you for the gift of grace. Cause us to see more clearly the design you have for us to share this grace with all people—including are neighbors and friends. Grant new opportunities today to share and listen for your love. Amen.

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