BY REV. DAVID MERRITT |
As we move into the month of March, we celebrate many important dates for us as Moravian Sisters and Brothers. We remember with sublime appreciation the faith and witness of our Sisters and Brothers who began a work of faith in establishing what we now know as the Moravian Church. Throughout the globe, the Unitas Fratrum has proclaimed the message of Christ and Him Crucified to people groups from Labrador to South Africa. With the message of hope, they brought education, health care, community, and most importantly, love and compassion for all of God’s Creation.
In addition, we will begin the journey of a million steps in the Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. This year however we will celebrate with an awareness that the Jesus who came to suffer for us continues to walk beside his people as we pass the tragic milestone of millions of deaths worldwide due to COVID-19 and related illnesses. Lent allows us all a chance to repent, to begin again, and to seek to reclaim our identity as God’s Children. With all that has happened in our lives, we offer our tears and ashes of sorrow to the One who calls us to life abundant.
The Moravian Day of Giving in March is another unique opportunity to love in ways we never thought possible. Not only can we give to support the work of our congregation, we can give to provincial efforts and worldwide causes that reflect our ever widening outreach. Through the generosity of others, our gifts can be matched and our efforts enhanced with a single act of generosity. This Moravian Day of Giving is not only a great idea, it is part of our DNA as Moravian Believers. Since our inception, the work of our church has always been focused on the welfare of others as God’s Children.
(Above: Listen to Bishop Carol Foltz introduce this year’s Moravian Day of Giving.)
Lastly, the month of March is a time when we celebrate the role of Women in the world at large. Although this is not exclusively a Moravian emphasis, our church has led the way in such efforts. Salem Academy and College, Moravian College and Seminary (both founded at the beginning of the American Experience) are just two major educational institutions created to educate and advance Women in North America. As a father of three daughters and husband to a wonderful woman, I have seen firsthand the challenges they have faced in their careers and in their personal lives solely because of their gender. March is a month when all of us can offer praise to God for the lives of all women both in our church and in the greater world.
So, take the opportunity this month to remember our collective past, walk with Jesus during Lent, give generously and celebrate the women in your lives who have given the gift of life and have been “faith-reformers” to those in our churches. Who knows, you may find yourself march-ing to a different drum… now that’s what I call a month to celebrate!
“17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” -1 Timothy, Chapter 6
About the author
The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grand-kids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain but prefers raindrops anyway.
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