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 9, 2014

First Sunday in Lent, March 9, 2014

Spiritual beings

It is difficult to convince yourself that your physical and emotional needs aren’t the highest priority, when you are suffering. Yet we never begin the season of Lent without a story of Jesus willingly being led into the wilderness (or desert) alone with nothing to eat for weeks. Jesus understands the necessity of confronting his human limitations, despite the risk of suffering, to explore his spiritual identity. Jesus is trying to understand who he is at the core of his being.

In 1955 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest, philosopher, biologist and paleontologist, wrote in his book The Phenomenon of Man, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Nothing in our physical world would lead us to believe that. Nothing in our bodies allows us to believe that. Nothing in most human cultures encourages us to believe that. We know all about being human. It is who we are.

And yet, as Christians, we annually observe the season of Lent. We are invited to go into the desolate places of our lives and confront our human limitations of mind and body, again and again/ We are led to follow Jesus’ example and explore our spiritual identities with the knowledge that there will be some suffering in doing so.

Why should we risk the pain of the wilderness? Can’t we just go through the Lenten motions? We know who we are. We are only human. We are not Jesus.

And yet, we need Lent to understand that there is a promise that extends beyond the pain of human experience. We need it to believe that human suffering isn’t the end of our being/ We need Lent to remember that despite what this physical body experiences, under the most severe of circumstances, we can trust God to keep our spiritual beings sustained.

Staci Marrese-Wheeler, pastor, Lakeview Moravian Church, Madison, Wisconsin

Moravian Daily Texts


Wednesday, May 23 — Psalm 68:19–27
Numbers 12:1–13:16; Mark 13:14–27

One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city. Proverbs 16:32

Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 14:19

God of peace, your word tells us we must not only seek peace, but pursue it. Grant us the faith to trust in you, so that we may lay down our arms. Give
us the strength to make peace, so that we may be blessed. We thank you for all your faithful servants who have taught us the way of peace and justice, especially your son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

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