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


Monday, June 18 — Psalm 77:16–20
Numbers 33:10–56; Luke 2:41–52

Thus says the Lord, “I will rejoice in doing good to them.” Jeremiah 32:41

Jesus said, “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” John 10:9

Dearest Lord Jesus, you are the good gate. We turn our faces to you, and thank you for your gentle might. May all we do and say bring someone to your opened gate today. Amen.

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