Moravian Moment # 24 - Moravian Preaching
There are many persons who have their own concept as to what is not Moravian. There are those who when certain things happen in worship declare that that is not Moravian. On the other hand, there are those who when they hear most Moravian Pastors preach, they would say that you preach like a Pentecostal. I believe that many persons have a wrong understanding of the Moravian Church. Moravian Preachers have always had with the exception of a few, a Pentecostal fire deep in their souls. The Pentecostal fire (not the Pentecostal Church) resonates within Moravian Preachers and preaching. Moravian preaching has always been from the heart.
Zinzendorf was right when he said: “A preacher, in order to be totally successful, must be bold, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and to the bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. He must bear down all opposition, tear down the fair but false fabrics of formalism and self-righteousness; overturn, burn, and destroy every wrong foundation, together with its superstructure, ere it is possible to build up a spiritual house unto the Lord.”
The sum and substance of the Gospel which these Spirit-filled Moravians preached in all parts of the earth may be learned from the following sentences taken almost at random from Zinzendorf’s sermons: “ In order to preach aright, take three looks before every sermon; one at thine own sinfulness; another at the depth of human wretchedness all around thee; and a third at the love of God in Christ ; so that empty of self, and full of compassion towards thy fellowmen, thou mayest be enabled to administer God’s comfort to souls”.
Witnesses for Jesus and of Jesus, was what every Moravian was in the great revival decades and it brought them great joy.
It is this Christian joy to which even some preachers have not yet attained and many members have not yet reached, upon which the Moravian Church must depend for its future influence everywhere and thus the Word of God be fulfilled in our time as it was two centuries ago. The joy of the Lord is your strength.
It was the sight of this joy which the Moravians had in the midst of the storm when the vessel was on the point of sinking into the sea that so impressed the Brethren John and Charles Wesley as to lead to that deep personal experience of grace upon which the Methodist Church was founded. It is this same grace and joy why the Moravian Church among the many other denominations still continues to exist.