The Moravian Church British Province

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Daily Watchwords

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Moravian Messenger

 

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watchword-2017

This is the 286th edition of 'Daily Watchwords' or 'Moravian Textbook'

The practice of having a Biblical text as a shared daily "Watchword" among the inhabitants at Herrnhut began in 1722. At that time it was taken house to house by word of mouth, to serve as a common guide to meditation and conduct. This is how it was for eight years until, for 1731, a series of texts was printed for the full year, with the texts supplemented by hymn verses. So began the tradition which is continued in this the 285th edition. The Old Testament texts are chosen by lot and a New Testament text is then added. This process takes place annually in Herrnhut, on behalf of the world-wide Unitas Fratrum, and from there the texts are distributed to each Province, to be reproduced in a form suited to local needs. Translated into more than fifty languages, the Text Book continues to be used and appreciated far beyond the membership of the Moravian Church, we as Moravians regard this wider ministry as a God-given privilege, for which we praise and glorify His holy Name.

Texts used in this edition are from the New Revised Standard Version, used with the consent of the copyright holders, the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of the USA. Other translations have been used from time to time and these are clearly marked.

For the first time the material has not been prepared by one editor, but by a team of contributors who have been given the freedom to use prayers, quotes, poetry as well as verses to draw out the meaning of the texts. It is the hope of the editing panel that this fresh approach will speak to the reader in a new way and that the differences in style will also be appreciated. The panel takes this opportunity to thank the contributors for their input and time. Hymn verses are taken mainly from Moravian sources but also from other traditions and are referenced in the index at the end of the year’s texts. Where necessary copyright is observed. Information concerning the phases of the moon is Crown Copyright, reproduced under licence from data supplied by HM Nautical Almanac Office.

Scripture readings for Sundays follow the are those set in the lectionary in use by most Anglican churches in Britain and, for the first time, includes the Old Testament narrative reading. The mid-week readings have been so formulated that, by following the suggested readings, readers will cover the Bible over a period of about two and a half years; Passages such as genealogies, obscure legal procedures, construction details, and the many repetitions where the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles overlap, are omitted or dealt with by alternative cycles. Apart from some obscure passages in Revelation, the New Testament is fully covered.

It is our prayer that users of this book will find that its contents speak to them in their situation, and that they may be guided to a fuller knowledge of the Bible that offers ever-increasing enrichment to their lives. May the sense of unity with so many others in the world, provided by the daily texts that are common to all editions, nourish our feeling of fellowship with the whole family of God, however the daily pattern of life varies around the world.

The editing panel

Watch word on the hilltop
of each rising day,
still our guide and guardian
on the pilgrim way.
Word that seals our union,
all with one accord,
bound in love and service
to our risen Lord.
A J Lewis

The new edition of the Textbook is now available. Please contact us today to order your copy.