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


Wednesday, November 22 — Psalm 131
Daniel 9:1–10:7; Jude 1:11–25

O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever. Psalm 28:9

Jesus says, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:16

Good Shepherd, so often as a church we look to those outside our own community as “other.” May we let go of our pride and work together with all people so we will be one flock under your leadership. Amen.

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