The murderous assassination of nine Christians at prayer by a racist domestic terrorist has stunned and grieved a country even as the rampage elicited from the families an almost supernatural display of generous forgiveness. The Bible students at Emmanuel AME had been studying the parable of the sower from the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Mark—where the seeds that fall on good soil, Jesus tells the crowds, bear 30, 60 even 100 fold.
Church families across the country prayed for these victims and their families since the incident—and from pulpits across the country came words of solace. I happened to have been a panelist on Face the Nation Sunday with Gwen Ifill, Michael Gerson and David Ignatius. Under the skillful handle of moderator John Dickerson, Ms. Ifill and I both recounted how—at different houses of worship—we had both heard later verses of the same chapter of Mark preached before heading to the studio, verses that have Jesus calming a raging storm in the Sea of Galilee and asking his apostles why they were afraid. May the fruit that we’ve seen already continue to be harvested.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211806316″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]