Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sun. July 15 (Janice Kreider)

Janice Kreider continued our series in 2 Corinthians with passages from chapter 2:5-11, and once again drew on the example of the Amish for inspiration, as in two previous sermons in recent weeks. Janice brought to us John Ruth’s book “Forgiveness: a legacy of the West Nickel Mines School” which explored the ways in which forgiveness is intrinsic to the Amish way of life, the public demonstration of which was something few will forget. Yet the other, puzzling side of Amish practice - that of shunning - is equally unforgettable. How does one reconcile the two? Janice showed how Paul speaks exactly about both of these practices in 2 Corinthians. Paul was slandered by the church at Corinth, the church refused to rebuke the offender, forcing Paul to defend himself, and when regret or apology finally came, Paul encouraged forgiveness. Janice noted this passage speaks about Paul’s explicit instructions - rebuke those who harm the spirit of community in the church, and when apology has been received, then comfort those who have been punished. Janice pointed out that the Amish act with discipline as the highest form of love. Thus, shunning and forgiveness are seen as two endpoints on the scale of love in the church community, and we are encouraged to keep both in mind in order to keep ourselves true to Christ’s goal for us - to love God. [AP] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday July 15th using your browser's preferred media player.



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