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.

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 | 0 comments

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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Things borrowed — a donkey, a room, a tomb

By on Apr 7, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

What do these “things borrowed” have in common? This year during Lent, while rereading the accounts of Jesus’ last days before his crucifixion, several things jumped off the pages of the gospels to me. Specifically, they were the things borrowed by the Lord — a young donkey, a large upper room and a new tomb. Why did Jesus borrow these things? The simple answer is because he needed them and did not own them. I grew up in a farming community in the 1950s in Pennsylvania. It was common for people to borrow tools and implements they...

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Gun shots and privilege

By on Apr 4, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

On a recent Saturday as my wife and I rode motorcycles to Albuquerque, N.M., two people were shot in my neighborhood. According to my neighbors, dozens of shots were fired. Thirty-six hours later on Monday, Rita and I were getting ready to go shopping; I needed a new shirt. As usual, I was taking my time getting ready. Just as I found the car keys, gun fire starting ringing out again. At first I thought it was firecrackers. From my perspective, the rapidness of the firing was faster than even an automatic gun could shoot. I was wrong. Within...

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Rethinking Judas

By on Apr 3, 2017 in The World Together | 4 comments

The World Together Blog

Growing up, we learn that Judas was the disciple who betrayed Jesus, and that’s true. What is also true is that Judas, I believe, is profoundly misunderstood. The truth is, while he did betray Jesus, I don’t think Judas was a bad guy — I just think he made a tragic miscalculation, like we all do at times. As I’ve said over the years, the cultural context where the story takes place matters. Jesus and the disciples were living under a violent military occupation of their country. Imagine if you will, living in an America where a...

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