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 18, 2018

First Sunday in Lent


Bulletin-back meditations for the 2018 Lenten season will focus on the emotions in the Gospel passages, and how our feelings can change our interpretation and understanding of the gospel.

Remember watching the reality television show Fear Factor? Do we need to set five tarantulas on a man’s chest to see him squirm in a panic? Fear finds a way of bringing us to our knees and to our Lord—without the coaxing of television producers.

The Gospel writer Mark fosters less of a story line and reads more like an accountant’s report with a rapid succession of events and facts. For example: “After John was put in prison” (Mark 1:14 NIV). Fear must overwhelm John’s witness while in prison.

We all make mistakes. We all fall short of God’s vision and glory for us. Sometimes our poor choices have consequences that may lead to jail time. Incarceration happens even to Christians. And the fear of seeing our precious rights vanish and revoked should shake us to the core—a true fear factor. Confinement brings us to our knees.

Today I invite you to pray for, to write, to visit, and to support someone jailed, confined to their bed, or restrained in a facility. I see in the Gospel of Mark how John’s imprisonment leaves little or no hope for him from his disciples. Really, this is no different from the disciples who abandon Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

Fear factor really does haunt the shadows of our life more than we think. Look how the news of the day exposes, saturates, and bombards us in a milieu of uncertainty. Even in the prisons of our lives, God’s love will still drive out fear.

Lord Jesus, whatever frightens me about my life this morning, I place in your heart of love. Heal my fear this morning. Amen.

John Wallace, pastor, First Moravian Church, Dover, Ohio 

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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