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The Amazing Grace That Can Change the World

January 21, 2012

Our next Movie Night, “The Blind Side,” is coming up on February 3. Our last Movie Night, back in November, told the inspiring story of South African President Nelson Mandela and the Captain of the South African Rugby team’s working together to bring about reconciliation in that wounded country.

Philip Yancey, in his book Rumours of Another World, shares a story about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Mandela established: 

At one hearing, a policeman named van de Broek recounted an incident when he and other officers shot an eighteen-year-old boy and burned the body to destroy the evidence. Eight years later van de Broek returned to the same house and seized the boy’s father. The wife was forced to watch as policemen bound her husband on a woodpile, poured gasoline over his body, and ignited it.

The courtroom grew hushed as the elderly woman who had lost first her son and then her husband was given a chance to respond. “What do you want from Mr. van de Broek?” the judge asked. She said, “Mr. van de Broek took all my family away from me, and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month, I would like for him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so I can be a mother to him. And I would like Mr. van de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him too. I would like to embrace him so he can know my forgiveness is real.”

Spontaneously, some in the courtroom began singing “Amazing Grace” as the elderly woman made her way to the witness stand, but van de Broek did not hear the hymn. He had fainted, overwhelmed.

May we so live that people can come and see in us that Jesus is the Life and Light of the world, who makes all the difference in the world. Amen.

(conclusion of the sermon at our January 15 Services)

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