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 – March 20 (Palm Sunday), 2016

Palm Sunday – March 20, 2016


In my first call meeting, a board member inquired about my favorite Moravian hymn. “The Hosanna,” I replied, then singing the first line, “Blessed is he that comes!” To our mutual delight, the board members sang the response, and we sang back and forth to each other through the entire hymn. Later we laughed, parroting a famous line from the movie Jerry McGuire, “You had me at Hosanna.”

Today we sing the Hosanna. Literally hosanna means “save, rescue, savior.” In some congregations, choir and congregation take the call-and-response parts of the hymn. In others, men and women split the duty. In yet others, worshipers on either side of a central aisle face each other, as the wonderful words ring out. There is no wrong way to sing the Hosanna—except timidly or hesitantly. On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus tells the Pharisees his followers will not be quieted: “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out” (Luke 19: 40).

Moravian quietism, a denominational hallmark, nearly as ingrained as simplicity, has sometimes been interpreted by others as lack of devotion or zeal. That cannot be the case on this final Sunday in Lent, when we celebrate that, although we and the palm-strewing crowd sometimes misread the kind of “kin-dom” Jesus is bringing, he alone can save us. Shout it and live it, beloved.

Hosanna! Blessed is he that comes!
Hosanna! Blessed is he that comes!
Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!
Blessed is he that comes, Blessed is he that comes,
He that comes in the name of the Lord!
He that comes in the name of the Lord!


Vicki Jens-Page, Western District pastor

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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