The Kingdom of God is at hand! Awesome Crap is on the prowl! Old fashioned hard candies are delicious!About as maligned, ignored, or marginalized as a group of white people can get in the United States, the Amish are typically the butt end of electricity, quality furniture or perhaps old fashioned hard candy (mmmm!) jokes, semi exploitive museum-restruants, Dr. Fairchild utopian vision comparisons, and "how could you live without all of mankind's glorious progress in non-flashy clothing"-style comments.
But on October 8th, 2006, they taught us about the kingdom of God. and on October 12th, they taught me about hope in the community of believers, and about the true grace of God.
I don't know what kind of coverage this got, but i didn't hear about it till today, and most likely it was brushed over or ignored entirely by the media. The grace of God isn't very marketable. You probably all know about the Amish school killings. What you might not have heard about is the reaction of the Amish to the family of the man that killed their children. The funeral for Charles C. Roberts IV, the man that attacked the school was this last Sunday, the 8th. This story reports that of the approximately 75 attendees of the funeral, half of them were Amish, from the families of the children who had been injured or killed. Furthermore, Other placesare reporting that the same Amish families are raising money for the widow that Charles Roberts left behind. Other stories tell of the Families' outreach to the widow and her children, openly forgiving her and asking her to stay in the community.
Holy Shit! Christ is Alive! This is it! The grace of God is here, is now, is among us! This is the Kingdom of God, living and active! This is eternal life! It's sad that this type of forgiveness seems so unusual among we that profess to follow the example of Christ. I can only imagine the beautiful reconciliation attempts that would have been made had Charles Roberts not taken his life!
Today, I have hope in the truth of the gospel! Today, I know that the church is not dead! Today, I believe in miracles! The Amish are moving mountains, quietly, without show or pretension to fame, in the countryside of Pennsylvania.
We might be quick to trivialize the Amish and their "quaint" ways, or critisize their isolation. But on October 8th, 2006, they taught us about the kingdom of God. and on October 12th, they taught me about hope in the community of believers, and about the true grace of God.