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 September 27, 2015

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost September 27, 2015

Following “Us”

“Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he was not following us.” (Mark 9:38)

Following “us”? As I look around today, I see so many times when the “us” in the world can get in the way of seeing and understanding not only the hearts and needs of others, but also God’s plan. “My way or no way” may be our thinking, but it is not compatible with God’s thinking.

The congregation where I worship shares space with two other denominations. The three churches are different in language, traditions, and music, and range from conservative to moderate in belief. Do we say to Jesus, “They are not following us,” or “Lord, their actions and worship are wrong because they are not following us and serving the way we do?”

These partnerships have taught us respect for other churches and given us the experience of real cooperation, yet it isn’t always easy. The three of “us”—as in the three congregations—have learned our focus is not on each individual church but on our joint worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We are brought together, and our hearts are joined in worship and service to Jesus.

Are there other areas in our lives where we cry that someone isn’t “following us”? Do we draw boundaries between one another that keep us from seeing and ministering to the one who needs healing, a comforting word, or a pastoral hug? Does tradition, music, race, or sexual orientation come between “us” and the other “us” that is following Jesus as all of “us” discern and understand?

The “us” we place before Christ and his children can be our stumbling block. Our Lamb has conquered; let “us” follow him.

Joyce Vance, director of Christian education, Peace Moravian Church, Charlotte, North Carolina,
Provincial Elders’ Conference, Southern Province

Moravian Daily Texts


Saturday, January 20 — Psalm 15
Genesis 23:1–24:25; Matthew 8:23–34

God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. Genesis 1:3

God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

Illuminate our minds, Lord Jesus, to recognize the needs of those around us. Open our hearts to share the burdens of our sisters and brothers as we hold one another in the light. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

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