What We Need for 2018
On Sunday, December 31st Watchwords were selected during worship. The tradition of selection Watchwords close to the start of a new year is important for Moravians. Watchwords, which are short passages from Scripture, provide guidance as we move into a new year. They are selected for congregational ministries in addition by each individual.
For 2018 our Congregational Watchword is from Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3 â€œBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.â€ The first words that strike me are â€œblessed/blessingâ€ for these are words that have layers of meaning today. The words are used from â€œGod Bless Youâ€ when one sneezes to the â€œMay the Lord Bless you and Keep youâ€ Benediction used in worship. I often wonder what it means to be blessed as it can be seen like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, or to mean nothing bad will come, or that it is about some sort of success we envision. The scriptures point us to a deeper understanding of blessing. A blessing that is tied to us allowing our lives to be caught up with Godâ€™s. We understand being richly blessed as a state of trusting God for every provision. It is to have hope that in all things God is working for good. Blessed is knowing Godâ€™s support and strength in times of challenge and trial. Having every â€œspiritual blessing in the heavenly placesâ€ reminds us the divide between the heavens and life now is not that insurmountable for we share in the things of God now and can always. What guidance does this Watchword from Ephesians have for us as a congregation? Are we a congregation that is richly blessed?
As a congregation we can operate from a place of scarcity thinking we donâ€™t have enough of what we need to be whatever we envision church to be. However, our Watchword reminds us we are richly blessed by Christ Jesus. There is enough love to be shared by Christ and among community. There is enough faith as we experience the holy presence of Christ in worship, prayer, devotion, and community. There is enough hope as we trust in God to provide direction and gift, ability and funding needed for ministry. There are enough talents and diversity of gifts Christ gives us to do what needs to be done. There is enough to do everything needed and good as a congregation in ministry in 2018. There is enough because God is enough and blesses us with every spiritual blessing. May we have the faith to trust in Godâ€™s blessings moving as a church community into this new year.
Sharing in Godâ€™s Blessings,
Hymn Verse paired with our Congregational Watchword
All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son and Spirit blessed,
Who reign in highest heavenâ€”
The one eternal God,
Whom heavâ€™n and earth adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore. (533, MBW)