Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources across the Anabaptist world. To submit a blog post, email rstella@mennoworld.org.

Honoring God with environmental justice

By on Apr 26, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

If you look at Mennonite Church USA’s “What We Believe” section on its website, you will see these two priorities: stewardship and undoing racism. I believe that these two principles translate across all Anabaptist congregations and conferences, but are dearly important for the Mennonite faith. Yet, at times I question — are they practiced? I wish I could say yes definitively, but as of late I have realized that is not true. No one at Eastern Mennonite University was talking about the clashes between police and Native American-led...

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Remembering the Holocaust

By on Apr 25, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

On a recent trip to Minnesota, I happened to stumble upon a second-hand toy and collectible store among the small shops in downtown Albert Lea. Upon entering the store, I was stunned by the amount of toys and dolls of all kinds piled high in every possible square inch of the shop, leaving a narrow walkway for customers to wind their way through to the end. I have never seen so many Barbies, Raggedy Anns, Madame Alexanders and other kinds of dolls amassed from floor to ceiling anywhere else. At least not in a thrift store. What came to my mind...

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Ready to repent

By on Apr 24, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I am amazed at God’s faithfulness to his people as seen in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Three remnants travel from Babylon to the Promised Land. The people go back with the goal of rebuilding their land and their cities. I do not think they realized they were also going back to rebuild their relationship with God. For hundreds of years previous, judges and prophets had called the people to repentance. By the end of the book of Nehemiah, the people come to their leaders and say, “We have sinned.” There are still 400 years between...

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4 ways Christians can love the soil on Earth Day

By on Apr 20, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Earth Day is a great time for Christians to show our love for God’s green earth. Of course, the challenge of loving the earth is knowing which part of the earth to love. There’s so much of it, after all — from continents to calla lilies to cyanobacteria. And while all of it is God’s earth and thus worthy of our care and affection, the asthenosphere doesn’t give me the same kind of warm fuzzies as, say, panda cubs. So rather than try to wrap our hearts around love for the earth in general, this Earth Day why not start with love for...

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God’s voice, Scripture’s inspiration

By on Apr 17, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

After writing my series on hearing God’s voice, I got some pushback from readers who thought that I was undermining the importance of Scripture. In the series, I describe God’s voice as something that comes to us in a variety of ways, as modeled for us in Scripture. I was a bit puzzled by the reactions stating that the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts is purely subjective and something to be treated with suspicion. I wrote a couple paragraphs in response a few times, but never felt right about publishing it. For one thing, I keenly feel...

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‘A star in the jaws of the clouds’

By on Apr 14, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Never in human history has such goodness encountered such evil. On a Friday a man was condemned to death. This man was marked by more love than the world had ever seen — read the stories of how he treated the sick, the social outcasts, women, children, his enemies. And marked by more truth than the world had ever known — he more than anyone else is universally acclaimed as the greatest teacher ever. Most remarkably, his death sentence was orchestrated by leaders of the most enlightened religious system of the day — its Scriptures recount...

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God on God’s terms

By on Apr 13, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As human beings, we tend to want God on our own terms. We want what we want from God when we want it. We want God to validate our assumptions, our preferences, our view of how the world works or ought to work. We want to drape all of our aspirations and self-understandings and projects and identity constructions with divinity. Anne Lamott once remarked that one sure way to tell if you’ve created God in your image is when he ends up hating the same people you do. I suspect that the opposite is also true. I am suspicious when God ends up...

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No Tomahawk missiles in the kingdom of God

By on Apr 12, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

This post is a sermon (audio version here) given April 9, 2017 at Washington City Church of the Brethren. Our gospel reading this morning is about Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, just days before he would be arrested and executed. Jesus is riding on a donkey, and the people are all around him. There were massive crowds in town for Passover, and Jesus’ arrival in the city is perfectly time to cause a stir. The thousands of pilgrims are waving palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the...

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Jesus: king or prophet?

By on Apr 11, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Why has the Jesus story become so timelessly influential across history? Why do so many people find something irresistibly attractive and fearful in it? And yes, why have so many adherents to this “Christian” tradition done horrendous acts of violence and depredation? No search of history to find lessons for the present can ignore these two questions. So why this great positive and negative impact of the figure of Jesus on the course of history? Why does the story of Jesus refuse to go away? This is truly a big subject, but humanity faces...

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Are we stuck at the cross?

By on Apr 10, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

It’s Holy Week. Sunday we progressed around the church with our palm fronds singing hosanna, reminding ourselves of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. From here we walk with Jesus toward the cross through what I have in previous years called the most subversive week of Jesus’ life. In the past I have said that Jesus’ walk through Holy Week begins with this triumphal entry and ends at the cross. Today as I helped plant our spring vegetables, I was reminded that it does not really end at the cross at all; it ends in the new life of...

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