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 January 3, 2016

Second Sunday after Christmas January 3, 2016

Circles of Influence

“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him” (John 1:10 NIV).

I wonder why they didn’t recognize him. Perhaps they were too busy. Perhaps their minds and hearts were focused on other matters. Perhaps they were so busy “doing church” that they had lost track of why they were doing it. (I’ve always appreciated the Evangelism Liturgy’s condemnation of “church involvement for its own sake.”) Perhaps they were looking for someone different. Whatever the reason, he was right there, in the world, and they didn’t recognize him.

“The world did not recognize him.”

I have a fairly decent recall for recognizing people, but occasionally I’ll cross paths with someone I haven’t seen in a while and I can’t remember his or her name. I’ve learned that pretending I know the name until it comes back to me is not a good idea. (Them: “Hi Jason! It’s been a long time!” Me: “Hi . . . you! I haven’t seen you since . . . then, um . . . at that place.”) Honesty is the best policy, and people understand.

“The world did not recognize him.”

The people whose names I forget are usually people I haven’t spent time with in a long while. Maybe once they were central characters in my life. But time and situation have moved them from an inner circle of influence to an outer one. There’s nothing that says we can’t rekindle a connection. Indeed, many long-lasting and meaningful friendships have been interrupted by distance or circumstance, only to be renewed and deepened. But, as William Booth observed, “If not fed and kindled, the tendency of fire is to go out.”

“The world did not recognize him.”

If you were to draw circles of influence in your life today, whom would you place in the center circle? Who would be on the outer edge, a familiar face without a name? And where would you place Jesus?

Jason Andersen, pastor, West Salem Moravian Church, West Salem, IL

Moravian Daily Texts


Thursday, December 14 — Psalm 143:1–6
Micah 6,7; Revelation 13:11–14:5

The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked.” Genesis 3:9–10

Paul wrote: And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6–7

God of the garden, you have placed us in your natural world. May we enjoy your creation and be good stewards of it. Call us as your beloved children and make us obedient to your will. Amen.

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