Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources including Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, Conservative Mennonite, Quaker and other Anabaptist-influenced thinkers. To submit a blog, email kyoder@mennoworld.org.

Why I’m for forbearance

By on May 22, 2015 in The World Together | 1 comment

Why I’m for forbearance

On a Sunday several weeks ago, my family and I had several neighbors over to a “goodbye party” for our next-door neighbor, John, who had decided to move to an apartment closer to his son’s family after suffering the sudden loss of his wife in October. As we gathered together, we ate hoagies and Tandy cakes, and had pleasant conversation about what was happening in our neighborhood and in our lives. At 4 p.m., we awkwardly hurried the neighbors out the door to make room for our small group from church. For a few minutes, our neighbors and...

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Providing kids with faith — and freedom to ask questions

By on May 21, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Providing kids with faith — and freedom to ask questions

On Sunday I baptized two young people in my congregation — one was 13, and one was 30. Both talked — from their own developmental place — about the importance of faith and the church in their lives. The teenager talked about the church as a place where — unlike other parts of his life — he’s not bullied, but loved for who his is. He said, “Jesus was bullied, so I think he understands how I feel, but Jesus was also surrounded by people that loved him, and that’s how church feels to me.” The 30-year-old is someone I’ve know...

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Not on French fries alone

By on May 20, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Not on French fries alone

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. — Jeremiah 15:16 I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. — Job 23:12 Jesus answered, “People do not live on bread on alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” — Matthew 4:4 Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. — Hebrews 5:14 It’s become a matter of course to compare God’s Word/words to food. The metaphor suggests something of our...

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If America became a Christian nation

By on May 19, 2015 in The World Together | 2 comments

If America became a Christian nation

With political season kicking off again, so is the season where folks begin to use the term “Christian nation.” Some claim we were one, some claim we are one, and some say we need to become one. Yet, each time I hear that phrase I have an inner Princess Bride moment where I say to myself, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Because truth be told, if America actually were to become a Christian nation, I don’t think the people who advocated for it would be too happy with the end product. Since...

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What does it mean to be holy?

By on May 18, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

What does it mean to be holy?

People today frequently associate the word “holy” with a list dos and don’ts that godly people are supposed to adhere to. The concept of holiness in the Bible, however, is not primarily about behavior. It, rather, refers to something that is unique and set apart from more common things. God is holy because he’s completely different from anything in this world. Certain objects are called holy because they’re set apart from common objects, having been consecrated to God for a special purpose. And God’s people are called to be holy by...

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Sing unto the Lord an old song

By on May 15, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Sing unto the Lord an old song

We walked into an old convent in the town of Cholula, Mexico. A choir from the University of the Americas was rehearsing for an evening concert. The program included music composed by Mexican and Spanish artists from around the 16th century. The music fit the venue. If you closed your eyes, you could visualize a group of monks chanting their evening office. We are in Mexico leading a group of 22 students from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., on their cross-cultural requirement. We were invited to the concert by a friend who...

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Involving ourselves in stories — of suffering, redemption

By on May 14, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Involving ourselves in stories — of suffering, redemption

Myths and stories breathe life into the way we construct our societies. Stories explain our origin, dictate our afterlife, and assign meaning to everything in between: friendship, marriage and families. As such, stories are a powerful force for social change. Jonah Sachs, author of Winning the Story Wars, defines stories as “a particular type of human communication designed to persuade an audience of a storyteller’s worldview.” Sach’s mission is to help storytellers of our modern age craft stories that matter, stories that create...

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Abide in love

By on May 13, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Abide in love

1 John 4, the passage we are focusing on today, is deceptively simple, in that while is sounds easy enough, it’s actually quite complicated when it comes to our lived experiences. Statements about love, like “Love wins,” for example, sound well enough on a bumper sticker. Christians repeat again and again that we are to love one another, love is from God, abide in love. Love, love, love. Love can become our go-to description of Christian ethics. “You just gotta love . . . ” And while I suppose I basically agree with that, if our text...

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Uncomfortable conversations

By on May 12, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Uncomfortable conversations

I do not go looking for challenging conversations. But I don’t run from them when they find me. I have come to realize that discomfort is an indispensable element of growth. We generally realize that being stretched is a good thing, even though few revel in the stretching. I have been reminded of this during the Church Leaders Justice Tour this spring. Together with Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, and Karen Hamilton, general secretary of Canadian Council of Churches, when the tour is done we...

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Why motherhood matters

By on May 11, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Why motherhood matters

Since my book Mom Seeks God came out last year, I’ve spoken to many moms’ groups, and one thing has stood out to me as a need common to all moms: To know that our job matters. Whether we’re exhausted new moms buried under a pile of dirty diapers, overwhelmed chauffeur moms who are always running late for soccer practice, or the moms of older children who wish those kids seemed to need us just a little bit more, I think we all share the desire to know that our work as moms is important. It is. Our children may not realize it, we may not...

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