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Grace Gets Lost October 6, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.
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I was discussing a verse from the Bible the other day, from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians chapter two verse eight, he wrote: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” one of the reasons why people don’t get the meaning of this verse, I often focus on, is that the word faith means something different to most people today than it did for Paul and his readers back then.  During this discussion last Monday it also struck me that most people don’t know the meaning of the word grace either.  This is not to say that I adequately understand the meaning either, but this past week we saw something in the news that might help shed some light on the concept of God’s Grace.

I’m speaking about the horrendous events that occurred earlier this week at an Amish school house in Lancaster Pennsylvania.  Five little girls were murdered execution style by a deranged man.  This news though sickening is not so unusual in this day and age.  What is unusual, especially in this day and age, is the Amish communities focus on forgiveness in the face of this senseless and brutal act.  I saw on CNN a scene from the funeral of four of the girls, a reporter attempting to interview the grandfather of two of the girls who was sadly following the horse drawn hearses. The reporter commented about the man’s call for forgiveness saying: “How can this be?”  And it struck me: This is the meaning of the word grace: he’s not happy to be there, he’s not happy to be having some reporter shoving a microphone in his face at the funeral of his two granddaughters but despite all that this man is talking about forgiveness.  Anne Taylor Fleming observed: “A gentle heart’s stricken insistence on forgiveness”.  How can this be?  The answer is this man and this community understand something about the grace of God.

This is something we all need to understand if we are going to put an end to all this senseless killing.  I’ll apply this to me so that I don’t insult anybody, listen carefully. The difference between God and me is bigger than the difference between me and the fellow who did this.  How can I expect God to forgive me if I can’t forgive him.  Don’t take it out on the family, forgive that’s holy, THAT’S GRACE.  Think about it, then perhaps you can understand how this man had the grace to remain true to his convictions even though this was the last place he wanted to be.  To be absolutely truthful I strongly doubt that I would behave so admirably under similar circumstances.  “I stand in awe of their almost unfathomable grace in grief” another comment from Anne Taylor Fleming’s essay.  Here was an opportunity to live the teachings of Jesus Christ and these people, under unthinkable circumstances did not pass it up.  Amen.

Palestinians, Jews, Sunnis, Shiites, 911 victim families, in fact everyone please take note.  Don’t be a prisoner of vengeance, avail yourself of the freedom of forgiveness.  I know this is very hard sometimes but it is vitally important.  I would not be able to call myself a follower of Jesus Christ if I did not at least pause and bow my head to this example of grace.  Amidst all the clamor of daily life and the incessant drumbeat of all sorts of teaching that has wandered away from God, grace get’s lost.  We need a demonstration like this to remind us just what the truth is.  If we actually started to understand God’s grace we would have so much less of the escalating violence born from generation after generation of so and so can’t forgive what was done to their children.  Remember what happened to God’s son and think of his promise to each of us.  Think about this grandfather and think about the future generations.  Think about the grace of God.

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