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: November 12, 2017

Festival of Jesus Christ the Chief Elder — November 12, 2017

Festival of the Chief Elder

Leonard Dober was elected Chief Elder of the Moravian Church in 1741 at a time when the church was rapidly expanding. He realized that his job had become more than he could handle, so he did what a great leader does: he put the needs of the group above his own ego and stepped down from his position. The Holy Spirit took over and did the rest. The easy part for the church was electing Jesus as Chief Elder. The hard part is remembering that his vision and not our own is our guiding light.

How do we know if Jesus is still our Chief Elder? Do we hear his voice guiding the life of our church, or do we use his words only when they support our opinions? If Jesus is truly still in charge, then prayer for all of us should best be utilized as a listening exercise. Submitting important life questions to the lot was not about leaving your life to chance; it was about surrendering oneself to the will of God.

We can still do this if we take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit. What decisions in your life do you need to put in God’s hands?

John 10:5 reminds all of us, “The sheep follow him because they know his voice.” Brothers and sisters, Jesus is our Chief Elder because his voice is still present and active in our world today. May we continue to listen for God’s voice as Moravians did in London in 1741. May the voice of Jesus continue to be the guide of our humble flock in all we do.

Thanks be to God!

Ben Lippert, pastor, Schoenbrunn Moravian Church, New Philadelphia, Ohio

Moravian Daily Texts


Monday, July 23 — Psalm 88:13–18
Deuteronomy 32:10–43; Luke 11:1–13

The Lord said to Isaac, “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” Genesis 26:4 (NIV)

Many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11

God of our ancestors, we are grateful for the blessings upon blessings that you bestowed upon Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and also upon us. Thank you for the promise of your unending faithfulness. Amen.

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