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 13, 2016

Festival of Jesus Christ the Chief Elder

Christ as Chief Elder

Our text for this day, Matthew 6:21, is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The text does not tell us what the treasure is. It could be anything: money, land, buildings, collectibles, fame, or something else—that thing to which we allow our heart to turn.

Verses 19 and 20 speak of earthly and heavenly treasures. In Matthew’s community, there was most certainly an understanding of “earthly treasures.” This Scripture tells us that earthly treasures might be something consumed by moth; that would rust, rot or become corrupt; or that thieves could steal. The Jewish community of Jesus’ time, and the Jewish followers of Jesus, understood that treasures in heaven include more than the giving of alms, prayer, and fasting. Heavenly treasures also include acts of kindness and deeds of mercy for people in distress. Treasures in heaven also include things of worth in God’s coming kingdom, such as justice, opportunity for all of humanity to be productive, the wherewithal for everyone’s needs to be met, and valuing the dignity of every person.

This text speaks loudly in our context today. It does not say that one must give up everything and live in poverty and destitution. It does say that earthly treasures are fleeting and can disappear in the blink of an eye. It also says that we should focus our hearts on those things that are enduring, everlasting, and eternal. Focusing our heart on those temporary things will not fulfill or complete us, nor will it show our love and devotion to Jesus, our Chief Elder.

Jane Gehler, pastor, Unionville Moravian Church,
Unionville, Michigan

Moravian Daily Texts

11/22/2017

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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