Moravian Messenger September 2018
P. 1

'Is our future in our history?'
John 17, 15-23
This is the first part of the sermon given by Br Jørgen Bøytler at the opening service of the 2018 British Provincial Synod - the second part continues in next month’s issue.
The Canadian literate Northrop Frye says; “The past is not something to which you return, but something that is recreated.”
The Moravian Church history covers but a short time in the history of Christianity and in the history of the world. The incarnation of Christ, becoming a human being, is eternity entering time, the eternal God giving Himself in time through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. It is God offering human beings availability of God in time, in our reality. The Word becomes flesh. God enters time in order to open eternity for human beings. Therefore, when we are in church today, the story of Christ is repeated once again through our being a church. Our future as a church is connected to the past, to the history, the story of Christ, the good news. It is connected to our history as a Church. The question is how this truth becomes a living reality in our being a Church today, and how our history can be meaningful in today's context.
Before moving to the prayer of Jesus for his disciples, we will go back to the times of creation, because a very fundamental truth is to be found there, namely: “Before everything existed, there
was love.” If we should ever find a reason, why God created the world, it must have been based on God's love. He made a masterpiece; he created the universe, which is still to a large degree unexplainable for us. I find that the real proof for love existing before anything else is the creation of man. God created us in His own image; He wanted company. When Adam was disobedient and lost the grace of being good, God must have been endlessly sad, crying, because the only part of creation created in His image was now an enemy. Augustine taught us that Adam was created and how he lost the original grace given by God. The lost grace becomes a gift to us, because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Through His death we can receive grace once again, that grace which frees us from the power of sin. It is because of the grace of God that we are given our lives and it is only by this grace that we are saved. Grace is the supremacy of God in our lives and by His grace we are devoted and committed to follow Him. Augustine said: “Give me Lord the grace to do as you command,” so for him grace is what leads us to do God's will and not ours.
Continues inside on page 98
Church away from home
(page 100)
Introducing the new Board Members
(page 102-103)
Denksteinfeier: the Annual Celebration of June 17th at Herrnhut
(pages 104)
European Women's Conference in the Netherlands
(page 105)

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