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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Weekly Moravian Message: February 12, 2017

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Understanding the Law

In our text for today, Jesus does not discard the law. Instead, he interprets the law by teaching that the laws are not mere rules. They are actually the way to being in right relationship with God and with neighbor.

As Jesus cuts through the people’s understanding of the law and redefines the breaking of God’s law, even as he shoots down their false sense of security from the consequences of sin, he begins to teach them God’s Good News. Their wrong belief that they would be deemed innocent by God if they did not physically commit a sin named in the law came into focus, as he made it clear that God does not judge the outside appearance alone, but he also judges the heart and the intent of the heart.

In the midst of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cuts cleanly into the heart of the law. He does not oppress the people by imposing the rules. Instead he invites all to a holy life, teaching that true disciples are those who commit themselves to practicing an inner holiness. He teaches that inner holiness can come only from God, as he clearly defines the simple truth that it is not possible to be at one with God unless you are at one with your neighbor.

Being Jesus’ disciple is not about being in bondage to regulations. Being Jesus’ disciple is about living an abundant life, unburdened by grudges, bitterness, greed, lust, or dishonesties. Being Jesus’ disciple is about building others up instead of tearing them down. It is about making it right with others when we’ve done it wrong. It’s about living into the truth of God’s Good News.

 

Cheryl Cottingham, pastor,

Immanuel New Eden Moravian Church,

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Moravian Daily Texts

11/19/2017

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Watchword for the Week — So teach us, O God, to count our days that we may gain a wise heart. Psalm 90:12

Sunday, November 19 — Zephaniah 1:7,12–18; Psalm 90:1–8,(9–11),12
1 Thessalonians 5:1–11; Matthew 25:14–30

The Lord your God has blessed you in all your undertakings. Deuteronomy 2:7

Paul wrote: So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:7

God of the harvest, you make things grow. As gardeners in this world let your spirit work through us as we tend to the growth of others so that they will become what you meant for them to be. Amen.

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