Recently I had the opportunity to attend a New Order Amish
Sunday School Service.
It was held in a large shop building and the view behind the speaker
through the open overhead door was similar in beauty to this.
We could see a neat log home surrounded by a well
manicured yard. Beyond that was a beautiful panorama of the Mission mountains.
We sat on backless wooden benches; the ladies on the left and the men
on the right side of the aisle.
It was a solemn and reverent gathering in an atmosphere of quietness.
No one spoke as we took our seats and waited.
The meeting began with several songs from a German 'liederbuch' (songbook).
As I followed along in the High German, it took me back to my Hutterite roots.
Unlike the Hutterites, Amish ministers compile their own sermons.
With passion, clarity and eloquence, the speaker, Marvin Wengerd from Ohio,
delivered a message on 'Unity'.
He spoke first on unity in the home, within the family and including extended family.
He then went on to speak on unity within the brotherhood which often involves
relationship conflicts and how to resolve them.
What stood out to me was that a 'peacemaker', gives and gives and gives.
I regretted not being able to follow every thought because the speaker switched
back and forth from English to the Amish 'Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.
I am fluent in Hutterite German but the 'Dutch' pronunciation is different
and if spoken rapidly, I do not understand it.
What I did comprehend will go with me for a long time,
not only as a memory but as a goal to follow.
These pictures were taken on Saturday as my new Amish
friends admired some pottery.
The faith of the Amish people permeates all of their lives and has a
visible outward expression.
God knows whether our heart is consistent with how we choose to dress our bodies,
furnish our homes, speak our minds and live our lives.
A lady from Lethbridge told me how she loves to watch
the children at these events as she finds them so happy and wholesome.
'That is why we come here', she said.
If you look closely, you can see the wooden board with
the words, 'Amazing Grace'.
I did not have to go looking for nourishment, it came to me in the
form of doughnuts carried by these sweet smiling girls.
Jacob goes to meet his brother Esau, Genesis 33
Verses of note:
Jacob bowed himself to the ground seven times, Gen 33:3
Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant:
and I will lead on SOFTLY ... Gen.33: 14
Seven year old Joseph watched this meeting.
Did it have an impact on him?
Years later he had the opportunity to put into practise
what he had witnessed when his brothers stood before him in Egypt.