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: July 2, 2017

Festival of John Hus, Martyred July 6, 1415 — July 2, 2017

The Human Face of the Good News

Keenly aware of the growing corruption in his beloved Catholic Church of the early fifteenth century, John Hus saw a disconnect between the biblical witness and how the church was actually living out its purpose. Because worship services were conducted in Latin, common folk in his day would not have understood the words of Scripture that were being read and proclaimed; they were made to feel unworthy in receiving only the bread from the Lord’s table; and they were led to believe that their very salvation could be secured through a donation to the church.

But what most pained Hus was that the church had largely become a matter of routine and procedure that did little to transform human hearts or society. For his outspoken opposition to this corruption, Hus was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415.

Sitting in our sanctuaries 602 years later in the summer of 2017, we can easily condemn the action back then of church leaders who were blind to the deeper meanings of Hus’s attempts at reform. But today let us consider how perhaps our religious practice has become a routine, rather than a matter of the heart that transforms us into people of action.

As important as being together as a church is, and as much as the church needs the financial support of its members, the actions of transformed hearts beyond the walls of the church are what matters most in the kingdom of God.

Hus’s fundamental passion for reform was to move the church beyond being an end unto itself. How are we, as the body of Christ today, being called into the world to be the human face of the good news that Jesus came to show us?

Chris Giesler, bishop, pastor, Emmaus Moravian Church, Emmaus, Pennsylvania


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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