Monday, February 4, 2013

"Tradition!"

Tevya, "Fiddler on the Roof"

I'm going to step out on a limb here....
How does it happen that people can treat others with less grace than they've been given in Jesus Christ?

I went to one of the saddest viewings this week that I've ever been to in my life. A 37 year old mother past away in her sleep from a heart attack. She had left the Amish church, married and had a life that God was bending with His grace. The shunning she received from her family and Amish community was so severe that when she attended a recent event, even her family did not acknowledge her presence--as if she were already dead to them.

I passed through the receiving line, her Amish parents sat beside her, and shook my hand. Her Amish siblings sat numb-faced starring blankly on the scene before them. Their traditions intact, their hearts in shreds.

How painful...I couldn't help but wonder what Jesus would have felt...but I think I know. He wept over Jerusalem. He wanted to gather them in like a mother hen gathers her chicks. But they did not comprehend Him or His authority.

I risk depressing you with this sad story only to remind us all that religion doesn't save us. Only a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ can do that. 

This week Camille Eide's Facebook thought of the day spoke to me:

"Reconsidering another familiar verse . . . 
When you read 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard...the things that God has prepared for those who love Him' are you like me and tend to think about blessings God plans to bring into our earthly lives? Again, it helps to read it in context. Paul is talking about the wisdom God gives us through his Spirit so that we can 'understand what God has freely given us.' Perhaps it takes supernatural help for us to fully appreciate the precious, merciful gift of salvation, and our inheritance as adopted sons and daughters."

I say thanks to Camille for putting it with such clarity. 

Life without salvation is like seeing without vision, listening without hearing, living without being alive. I've been especially thinking of those "in the church" who've missed the point of personal salvation, falsely letting their religion be their god in exchange for a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

The thing that would break my heart above all things, would be to hear Jesus say to me at the end of my earthly days, "I never knew you, depart from me."

Could I have left my family, my brothers and sisters, all I'd been told would save me, to follow Jesus Christ like she did? like the disciples did? What false things in my own life blind me from accepting God's abundant gift of inheritance as His daughter?

I pray for a supernatural revelation of understanding of God's gift of salvation.....for  the Amish, for those blinded by religious tradition, for those wounded by religious traditions, for those who've never darkened the door of a church, and for me--a mere flawed daughter in need of grace--everyday.



14 comments:

  1. Oh wow.
    So very sad.
    But one faint light of hope may be that her family will look at each other and say "WHAT made her go? What made her leave us? What did she gain by giving up our ways?"
    Perhaps she told God "whatever it takes to bring my family home to You, I will do".
    Hang on to that. To His sovereign hand. Hold tight.

    "That is not how we do things" is a phrase that can either redeem or destroy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I trust that God can work ALL things together for His good.

      Delete
  2. poignant and impacting, Anne... wow!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Anne, beautiful! We ALL received grace.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sad...sad...

    You have me thinking and praying...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the prayers Loree. And yes, you can see it stirred my pot too...

      Delete
  5. Wow. Yes, praying for that as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, my, how sad! We do need to examine ourselves, don't we?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the prayers Jennifer.
    Kay--yes, we can't hope for grace without looking in our own hearts too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So sad, Anne--praying for her family. And thanks for pointing out that the Amish religion is just that, a RELIGION with lots of extra-Biblical rules. It's not popular to say that, but it's true.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Right. I'm sure you can guess that is basically why I don't write"bonnet fiction"--it's too close to home. I didn't grow up Amish. I grew up Mennonite, not conservative like that though. But these people are not fiction characters to me. They are my friends. Being Mennonite is a big part of my worldview, but the the most essential part.

    Thus my tagline--"Mennonite girl without a bonnet"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops---"but **NOT** the most essential part"

      Delete

Hey friend! Please leave a comment, no lurking allowed ;)