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


Tuesday, July 17 — Psalm 86:1–10
Deuteronomy 27:14–28:24; Luke 9:37–50

The Lord said, “You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:6 (NIV)

Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” John 20:21

Gracious God, you have called us to be your people—sending us out into the world to do your work—to live as priests and priestesses for you. May it be so! Amen.

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