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 October 4, 2015

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, World Communion Sunday October 4, 2015

We Can Talk about It

Divorce is a sensitive subject in many of our communities. Fundamentally, it involves the disruption of a relationship—with many heart-wrenching implications. Though we may be tempted to avoid the topic, how can we witness to God’s active movement in our world, if we allow our insecurities to hide our ministry?

Do you remember the long-running children’s television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, advocated for quality children’s programming that engaged with real issues. In 1981, an episode featured a conversation about divorce.

The neighborhood deliveryman, Mr. McFeely, was reminiscing about his own wedding day. When Mr. Rogers brought up the topic of divorce, Mr. McFeely became nervous and quickly left the conversation. Mr. Rogers said, “Mr. McFeely left so fast—as soon as we started talking about divorce. I guess that’s something he doesn’t like to talk about. It is something that people can talk about, and it’s something important.”

In Mark 10, the Pharisees brought up the topic of divorce. Jesus did not shy away. Instead, he asked for their opinion, and they responded with a legal statement: “Moses said that the man should write a certificate of dismissal.” Jesus replied, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed this. But don’t divorce.” In other words, “You’re not prepared to care for people.”

Today we remember that we are called to be in communion with the multiplicity of people around the world. Like Jesus, we are called to meet people with empathy and grace. How can we be the church, if we are likewise unprepared to meet people where they are? This is the most frequent criticism of the church among young people: that we don’t engage with real issues seriously, and when we do, we react in trivial ways, like the Pharisees. Are our hearts hardened to matters of racism, sexuality, economic inequality, and the environment?

When you eat the bread and drink the cup, remember that God is inviting you into relationship. It is important, and we can talk about it.

James Lavoy, pastor, Rio Terrace Moravian Church, Edmonton, Alberta

Moravian Daily Texts


Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Watchword for the Week — Trust in him at all times, pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8

Sunday, January 21 — Jonah 3:1–5,10; Psalm 62:5–12
1 Corinthians 7:29–31; Mark 1:14–20

I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. Psalm 138:2

Jesus prays: “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:26

Blessed Redeemer, on this holy day may our worship of you spill out of the sanctuary and into every aspect of our lives. May all that we do give testimony to your unifying love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

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