Tuesday, October 10, 2006

the Amish story

We thank God for the evident grace he has given to the Amish community in the recent tragedy in Pennsylvania. For a moving account of this see Ben Witherington's posting here. And Scot McKnight has a helpful post on this, as well.

Some might call into question the witness given here. Though the story speaks for itself. I would like to remind us that we're all in need of God's grace, every moment of every day. We all are works in progress. We have plenty of thinking that needs renewed. We have plenty of "oughts" we fail to do, as well as words/actions we should not have done.

And this includes fellowships as well. One of the remarkable aspects of the church, to me, is just how it keeps on going, in its local assemblies, in spite of all its/her deficiencies and problems. This is not to say that a church may not lose its place as one of Christ's churches (see Revelation 2:5). But that our Lord is exceedingly patient with us all.

The point being, yes, the Spirit and the grace of God in Christ is at work in all kinds of fellowships that name the name of Christ. In spite of us. Not because of us. None of us has it all together. Some churches struggle with a bent towards legalism, as in set rules that may distract its members from the grace and truth that is in Jesus. Other churches struggle with a worldliness that comes again from a lack of understanding the grace and truth that is in Jesus. But in the end, God is at work to make us all one in his Son. And in that, to be the witness to the world, he calls us to be, as we grow together to be more and more like Christ.

So let us thank God for what we can learn from our brothers and sisters in the Amish community. And let us lift them, and the Carl Rogers family up in prayer. And let us be united together in the grace and truth that is in Christ Jesus.

Is there any church on earth that has it all together? Is there a church in which God's work among and through them is finished? What strikes you from this tragedy as formative for your faith in Christ?


Hepzibah said...

God always turns an evil thing into good. We all saw last week how forgiveness heals two hearts. May God bless you.

Ted Gossard said...

Amen, Hepzibah. Thanks.

Andy Blanks said...

Ted, I am simply reminded that far too often I am too exclusive in my views of what/who constitute "the Church." What a compelling way to be reminded that God's Kingdom is not homogeneous.