Yoder-Short: Too much bloodshed

Nov 6, 2017 by

Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech, that I must live among the tents of Kedar. Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. — Psalm...

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Yoder-Short: Boasting of inferiority

Sep 25, 2017 by

“If you’d have known his grandma’s family, you’d understand his actions.” The conversation was making me uncomfortable. Then it happens again. A different family is assessed: “Stubbornness shows up...

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Yoder-Short: A decluttered church

Aug 14, 2017 by

A freeing feeling results when we donate unneeded clutter to the local rummage sale. Old books go, making room for new ones. Useless kitchen gadgets leave, creating room for useful basics. Uncomfortable shoes...

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Yoder-Short: Arrogance and grace

Jul 3, 2017 by

Aunt Grace made her first appearance years ago. She reappears at the sound of pompousness. Aunt Grace is the creation of a friend. I imagine her with grey permed hair and gaudy red lipstick. She entered the...

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Yoder-Short: Trust not the foxes

May 22, 2017 by

Ten baby chicks arrived at our house along with a flock of childhood memories. I grew up where banties roamed the barnyard, and spring included clucky mothers with newly hatched chicks. As I put our chicks in...

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Yoder-Short: Define ‘political’

Apr 10, 2017 by

“We can’t put up the sign because it’s political.” When seeing the sign, “No matter what country you’re from, we are glad you’re our neighbor,” what do we see? Does including Spanish and Arabic...

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Yoder-Short: ‘Pretend you know me’

Feb 27, 2017 by

I was putting money in the parking meter when a young woman approached me and quietly said, “Pretend you know me.” I was puzzled. She loudly chatted about how good it was to see me. After a trio of guys...

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Yoder-Short: Unworldly fashion statements

Jan 16, 2017 by

“Maybe they are the lucky ones.” His words surprised me. The discussion was about a local faith variety where the young women are easily spotted in their homemade dresses and coverings, while the young men...

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Yoder-Short: Smudges of pain, shimmers of grace

Dec 5, 2016 by

While unpacking my bags after returning from the Women Doing Theology Conference, I noticed a smudge on my comfortable grey sweater. Was it spilled coffee or residue from shared pain? As I cleaned out the...

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Yoder-Short: Choosing our rituals

Oct 24, 2016 by

Football player Colin Kaepernick, with a cross decorating his arm and Bible verses tattooed on his chest, started a conversation by refusing to stand for the national anthem ritual. How do we speak to an...

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Yoder-Short: Was Lydia black?

Sep 12, 2016 by

Images become stuck in our heads. Of course Lydia was white. And Cleopatra looked like Elizabeth Taylor. Lydia is frequently cited as the first European convert. Most children’s Bible storybooks confirm...

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Heavenly tablecloths with fresh ideas

Aug 1, 2016 by

Peter is hungry and goes to pray. A vision of unclean food, arranged on a heavenly tablecloth, appears. He is invited to eat. Peter, the good Jew, refuses. He is told not to “call anything profane that God...

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The many what-ifs of loving your neighbor

Jun 20, 2016 by

“Who is my neighbor?” I understand the lawyer’s need for a clear answer from Jesus. Jesus answers the question with the story of a Samaritan showing mercy to a wounded traveler. It seems easy. The person...

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Unsettling stories

May 9, 2016 by

“The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” The Bible says some unsettling things. Multiple bloodbaths clear the way for The Chosen. Smashers of babies against rocks are called blessed. The list of...

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All are in God’s circle

Mar 28, 2016 by

Recently a teacher was explaining how even preschool kids know who is in and who is out. They know who they want in their block-building circle and who they don’t. Ideas of inclusion and exclusion form...

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Freed from madness

Feb 15, 2016 by

Imagine a violent tormented sociopath transforming into a person in their right mind. Imagine pigs running and drowning in the sea. Some stories are just too strange. Certain stories ask us to wrestle with...

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Whose lives matter?

Jan 4, 2016 by

An expert in political science asks Jesus about his support for Samaritan Lives Matter. Apparently, Jesus had told a story with a Samaritan hero and a couple of heartless religious leaders. Some say Jesus even...

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Odd couple in a chariot

Nov 23, 2015 by

The Bible storybook image of this odd couple is a curiosity. Philip, the insider, dressed in drab beige, runs beside a jewel-studded chariot carrying a colorfully dressed royal Ethiopian. The educated...

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Complicated lines

Oct 12, 2015 by

Life is complicated for Daniel. Training to become a civil servant in a foreign country is tricky. Taking classes on the wisdom and literature of the Chaldeans is confusing. Studying astrology, omens and myths...

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The price of privilege

Aug 31, 2015 by

Ben Goossen, a scholar examining the relationship of Mennonite identity and German nationalism, said at Mennonite World Conference, “It is important to understand that playing ‘The Mennonite Game’ [and...

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