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, Dec. 29, 2013


First Sunday after Christmas
December 29, 2013


Responding to the unacceptable

The biblical revelation is that God allows injustice, cruelty, and even the despicable treatment of children to occur. The slaughter by Herod of all the children under two years of age in and around Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus is but one example of this.

What does it mean to people of faith that the “unthinkable” happens to real people in real life? Is this God’s will? Are we to accept such injustice and cruelty? I think not. Matthew 2:18 validates Rachel’s refusal to be consoled as a valid response to such injustice.

In other words, accepting the “unacceptable” is not our only choice. Objecting to violent and abusive treatment toward innocents is in fact “of God.” Like Job, we are called to bring our outrage to God. Often, like Job, we receive no satisfactory answer to our prayers. But the act itself of lodging our complaints with God is an act of faith.

I once served as a chaplain in a “lock-down” psychiatric treatment center for children who had sexually molested other children. Unfortunately, a good number had been abused themselves by Christian leaders in their church or by Christian family members. The neglect and abuse of the innocents happens today.

In addition to our prayers, what action does our faith require? Is the safety and well-being of innocent children being protected within our churches and families? Are we prepared to establish and vigorously enforce child-safety policies? Or do we shy away from the reality of how vulnerable children are, even within Christian circles?

Like Rachel, our refusal to accept the unacceptable is the first step in faithfulness. Action that honors and protects our children is the next one.

Jeff Coppage, pastor, Covenant Moravian Church, York, Pennsylvania

Moravian Daily Texts


Tuesday, June 19 — Psalm 78:1–8
Numbers 34; Luke 3:1–20

Who observes my ordinances, and follows my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity. Ezekiel 18:17

You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18–19

God of action—we think we know it all. Forgive us such foolishness. Let us ponder your blood, for it is more precious than silver or gold; our children are listening to our words and watching what we do. Amen.

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