Led to Restoration
Psalm 23: 2 – 3
The journey of the Moravian remnants to the rebirth of the Moravian Church on August 13, 1754, can be described in the words of David in Psalm 23: 2 & 3. ‘He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.’ Persecuted for their faith, the brethren were scattered and almost lost forever. As this was happening, John Amos Comenius, the last Bishop of the old Unity of the Brethren, prayed that the Lord would preserve a remnant of the church. His prayer was answered almost a hundred years later when Christian David was given permission by Count Zinzendorf to bring any persecuted member of the church he could find to stay on his estate in Germany where they would be safe from persecution. For these persecuted brethren God was truly leading them from turmoil, hardship, persecution and even death, to a place of restoration, a place of green pastures and still waters. David used the shepherd imagery to describe God’s complete provision for His servants. As the shepherd led the sheep daily to green grass, calm water and shade, the sheep would find satisfaction and restoration. Christian David had been a shepherd himself so he understood the imagery of the Psalm. God would lead his people from trouble, fear and turmoil, to restoration. Christian David made trips into the areas where the remnants of the Moravian Church were to be found and led them to the estate of Count Zinzendorf where they were restored and renewed.
All was not well however as the new settlement was anything but settled. There were frequent disagreements and they were helped by Zinzendorf to unite under a common understanding of their faith. They agreed to, and signed the Brotherly Agreement, (known today as the Moravian Covenant for Christian Living) a code for Christian conduct, and it was agreed that they would celebrate this milestone with a communion service on August 13, 1727. They gathered with a common purpose, united in prayer. As they worshipped the Holy Spirit filled their hearts with love for God and for each other and out of that experience the Moravian Church was reborn. God had led His people through the valley of the shadow of death, through persecution, wars and hardships to a place where they could worship in peace and safety, a place of restoration.
As we celebrate today I would like to assure someone that God still restores and renews. You may be in the valley of death and despair but that is not your destination. Do not get comfortable in despair for God is leading you to your place of restoration and renewal. Remember the woman with the issue of blood was healed and restored when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. Remember the blind and deaf found new life when Jesus entered their situation. Remember Lazarus was dead bur Jesus called him forth from the tomb. Nothing is too hard for our God. Whatever your situation may be, He is able to bring restoration. Do not give up. Do not turn away. Let God lead you friend so that God can restore you.