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


Friday, September 21 — Psalm 108:6–13
1 Samuel 13; John 1:43–51

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it. Genesis 2:15

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

Creator of the universe, what a privilege you have gifted to us! You have entrusted us to care for the beautiful world that you have created. May we be worthy of that trust. May we tend your garden well. Teach us to be wise stewards and to care gently for the earth and all her creatures. Amen.

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