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.

Enduring the cross, despising the shame

By on Jul 16, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

If I were to try to convince someone to become a Christian, shame is not a quality I would advertise. I would probably talk about the wonderful sense of being set free from guilt, the comforting presence of a communicating God, and the indescribable joy of Spirit-infused life. Not shame. Certain verses have come alive to me in the past five years, as I gain a sort of experiential knowledge that replaces what was merely intellectual knowledge before. Recently, reading this verse brought that familiar twinge of oh, I think I’ve experienced...

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Faith the size of a wheat seed

By on Jul 12, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). I love that verse. Such a good reminder to stop, chill out, and allow God to move. And I believe that he can and does move, I say devotedly as the sun shines. But then the clouds move in and the thunder rolls and I’m frantically trying to solve the problem. Wheat is a pretty big crop for our family, and this year, we watched our fields carefully. January: bitter cold with no moisture. February; unusually warm — no moisture. March: I don’t remember. April: more cold with snow. May: rain...

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Loving our neighbors without fear

By on Jul 11, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I saw two movies recently. The second was First Reformed. The pastor of a small Christian Reformed church somewhere in New York struggles with a tension between hope and darkness in his own life and runs into a “soul-shaking encounter” with an environmental activist so filled with despair about what is happening on our planet that he wants to abort their baby; his young wife is pregnant and she has brought the pastor into their troubling situation. In its past, this church was part of the underground railway, the relay of desperate...

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Finding our better angels in divided times

By , and on Jul 10, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Who hasn’t known relationships torn apart over divisive politics? Churches, families and businesses all know the tension that can accompany political discussions, especially in recent years. Is it possible to bring together Republicans and Democrats to listen to each other and break down divisive stereotypes? Is it possible to clearly disagree without dismissing the other as stupid, uninformed, callous or even evil? Better Angels, a national nonprofit organization formed in 2016, is doing just that. The name of the organization is a...

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A Lancaster historian seeks Mennonite hair art

By on Jul 9, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

“Hair Picture,” in Decorated and Plain: A Mennonite and Amish Sampler

It’s a well-known story. It was July 25, 1896, and there had been a party at the home of John Musser in Witmer, Pa., and many young Mennonites had gathered to socialize, perhaps discussing the quarterly mission meeting that had been held a few days earlier, perhaps not. Some time before midnight the party broke up, and everybody went their separate ways. (This telling of the story is based on the account in John L. Ruth, The Earth is the Lord’s: A Narrative History of Lancaster Mennonite Conference, Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2001,...

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To judge or not to judge?

By on Jul 5, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As a child, I rarely heard cursing. Thus, I often didn’t recognize inappropriate language when I did hear it. My friend and I could watch the same movie — she would hear curse words every other minute, and I wouldn’t hear a single one. So when I became a grocery store cashier — one of my first jobs in a secular environment — my coworkers would frequently insert “sorry” in the conversation even though I wasn’t sure why. After asking why they were apologizing several times, I figured out that it was usually about their...

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The face of Jesus on the border

By on Jun 29, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

Elsa Goossen manages Casa Vides, a program of Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, assisting immigrants. A mural above the serving table features the words of martyred Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero: "If they kill me, I will arise in my village." — Rachel Waltner Goossen

I had just completed a week-long Mennonite Central Committee-sponsored learning tour alongside nine other writers and artists in and around Tucson and the border wall that divides Doug­las, Ariz., from Agua Prieta, Mexico. I had filled a notebook with my thoughts and questions. I was struggling with the complexity of the issues on the border. It seemed to me that all the parties I had talked to were good people trying to do their jobs in a humanitarian way, and yet, the border news was inhumane. Before returning to Topeka, Kan., I wanted to...

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Foster care and our own refugee crisis

By on Jun 28, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

In our yard is a huge oak tree, its branches shading the sandy dirt underneath. Under the tree, a collection of spoons and cups pilfered from my kitchen litters the ground. My 6-year-old daughter is the queen of mud pie production, and she takes it on herself to teach our foster children the craft. The little children who come to our house learn what it means to be part of a family again. They play with new kittens, eat vegetables, and take naps. They learn to make blanket forts and how to put their shoes on the right feet. They have a drawer...

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Love for lawbreakers: Reading Romans 13 with Romans 5

By on Jun 27, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I had taken a vacation from the news for a couple weeks, but I couldn’t help but notice all the discussion in my Facebook feed about immigrants being separated from their children. Everybody seems to have weighed in by now, an executive order has been signed, and in reality most have people had made their decisions beforehand. But as I think about what is going on, so much of the confusion for Christians in this debate seems to be because of our marriage to the kingdoms of this world rather than our rightful union to the kingdom of heaven....

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Immigration injustices aren’t new

By on Jun 26, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I clearly remember that cold winter morning in January 2007. I arrived at the airport at 3:30 a.m. to report for my job, as a supervisor for a major airline in Brownsville, Texas. I walked to the ticket counter and noticed two Border Patrol agents standing with coffees in hand. I turned the corner and saw four small children curled up and shivering, holding each other for warmth. My motherly instincts kicked in. I knelt and asked, “Estan bien? (Are you all all right?)” Trembling, they responded, “Tenemos mucho frio (We are very...

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