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


Wednesday, March 21 — Psalm 37:34–40
Exodus 27:1–28:14; Matthew 25:14–30

God said, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19

As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22

God of compassion, you have told us that you care for the poor and abandoned. We confess how little our hearts share this concern. We see very little beyond our own needs. Today, help us change. May we see you in the least and the last. Amen.

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