Care2Share Blog

The Moravians are famous not only for the incredible feat of saving Lititz’ nativity scene (against the schemes of none other than the ACLU, mind you!), they have a knack for even crazier things. That’s right. There were some crazy things going on with those Moravians early on.

John Hus began to preach to the people of Moravia (in modern-day Czech Republic) in 1400 A.D. Because he refused to stop preaching the Word to the common people, he was burned at the stake by the established Church at the time. But before he died he made a prediction that the preaching of the Word would be like a “hidden seed” in the ground that one day would bring revival.

Another 200 years go by and a man by the name of John Amos Comenius led the Moravians out of their land into a safe place. They lived as wanderers for 100 years, often without a home, but before Comenius died, he predicted that the “hidden seed” that Hus spoke about would sprout in revival in 100 years.

Then along came the crazy man with a weird name – Zinzendorf, a man of noble birth whose family was rich and powerful, but he went off the deep end. No, not that deep end but a real deep one – he found Christ and was “doomed” for it. People call him “the rich young ruler who said ‘yes.’” And say yes he did. At age 27 he took in one Moravian refugee into his sprawling estate and the next thing you know he had 300 living with him. Crazy stuff, I know. Then he became their leader – wouldn’t he though, if he is footing the bill?

Okay, seriously, this guy was the real thing –this Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Under his spiritual guidance, those Moravians lived together, studied God’s Word together, and grew together. One day the Count was studying history and he came across the statement by John Amos Comenius about the “hidden seed” of revival. He looked at the calendar and that week was exactly 100 years since Comenius made that prophecy.

Crazy, huh? He called an all-night prayer vigil and the next day revival broke out. It was August 13, 1727, “the Moravian Pentecost.” But it gets even crazier… He picked a place in town and decided to start a 24 hour, round the clock prayer meeting. Every hour three people would be praying. Do you know how may one-hour periods are there in a week? Exactly 168. 300 Moravians. You do the math.

That means that at any particular hour three people were praying together in the place of prayer. For a whole week? No? A whole year? No. 5 years? No. 10 years? No. 50 years? No. 100 years? No. 110 years to be exact. Crazy people, those Moravians. I told you.

But during that time their hearts began to yearn for the things God yearns for. They were filled with a burning desire to see the message of Christ proclaimed to the unreached peoples of the world. In just 15 years they had already sent 70 missionaries around the world. But they didn’t just make an altar call and asked who was feeling God’s call to the mission field. No, they cast lots among the males, and whoever got picked got to go. They took care of the wife and children of the missionary during the time of his absence. Some of them even sold themselves intentionally as slaves so they could preach the Gospel to slaves. (Did I say they were crazy?)  Just one of the churches that the Moravians started sent 200 missionaries. They were soon all over the world among unreached people groups and they started the modern missionary movement. They would be the largest church in the world today if they didn’t have this crazy habit of starting churches and then turning them over to other groups. Who does that today? Crazy!

And the craziest thing they did? They founded the borough of Lititz. That’s right. Count Zinzendorf himself made a personal appearance, looking for a place where Moravians could settle. He spoke at a tavern in Lititz; then proceeded to Lancaster the next day. Some guy heard about him and having missed him in Lititz, followed him South and the next night gave his life to Jesus and a big parcel of land too, which happens to be where Lititz is located today. Crazy stuff.

And why am I telling you all of this? Because this Sunday I am speaking about prayer and the role it plays in changing the world. And I want us to become Moravian crazy, that’s all.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade