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.

Supporting life during Lent

By on Mar 6, 2017 in The World Together | 7 comments

The World Together Blog

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? — 1 John 3:17 (NLT) I’ve always found it hard to read this kind of text, and found it equally difficult to get through an Associated Press article on current victims of famine in eastern Africa, and especially in Somalia. An excerpt: Her eyes glued to the feeble movements of her malnourished baby with protruding ribs and sunken eyes, Fadumo Abdi Ibrahim struggled to hold back her tears in...

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Holy fire and human flailing

By on Mar 3, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Lord Jesus, please hear the heart of your handmaiden. I read this morning in Leviticus 10 of the death of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. As is the case every single time I read it, my heart aches for Aaron and his wife and his family. Here is Aaron, in his mid-80s at least, and his sons — were they reckless youths? We know they had no children according to the scriptures. It seems so harsh, Lord Jesus, so final, so – well, so without warning. I always struggle when I plow my way through this passage and read of a father who “said...

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Theology that favors whiteness

By on Mar 2, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

Black theology and womanist theology, the theologies written by African-American men and women, speak to white as well as black audiences. Theology for Mennonites and the still predominantly white Mennonite churches would appear in a different light after engagement with these writings. Here are a few examples. In her book Sisters in the Wilderness, prominent womanist Delores Williams describes the multiple kinds of “surrogacy” endured by black women — that is, instances in which these women performed services that were rightly the...

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Giving up fear for Lent

By on Feb 28, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I have started observing Lent early. The hate, anger and animosity I see around me is overwhelming, and I think at its heart is fear. What are we afraid of? This is a question I have reflected on a lot this week as my first step in reflecting on my first theme for Lent: Let fear become love. I suspect I may not get beyond this first theme for several weeks. My scripture for the week is 1 John 4:17-18, quoted here from The Message: God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way,...

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Who am I?

By on Feb 27, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

There is one question that has haunted me for as long as I can remember: Who am I? Recently I had lunch with a good friend. After lunch we walked around the neighborhood he grew up in. It was mesmerizing to listen as he pointed out houses and parks while telling stories of friends, neighbors and events. It was clear that his neighborhood shaped his identity. For the past few months I have been reacquainting myself with one of the Old Testament’s greatest heroes — Moses. I think I find myself drawn to him because, like me, he had an...

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Fostering faith beyond Sunday school

By on Feb 21, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Nurturing and building Christian foundations is paramount for being able to create a long-lasting successful spiritual walk once a child hits adulthood. Yet too many parents fail to see the importance of fostering these building blocks at home and instead relegate them to an hour on a Sunday morning, making Christian education the sole responsibility of a dedicated Sunday school teacher or a trained children’s pastor. While I do value my role in children’s ministry and believe it is of utmost importance, I want to let you all in on a...

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If refugees can’t come, we must go to them

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

The World Together Blog

I have heard a lot of discussion about the parable of the good Samaritan among Christians debating the crisis and President Donald Trump’s ban. What surprises me as I listen to these conversations is that many people are using the parable to justify not taking care of their refugee neighbors. “The Good Samaritan didn’t take the injured Jew home with him.” “The Good Samaritan found him on his way.” I’m afraid in justifying ourselves, we are missing the very point Jesus was trying to make. Luke 10 begins with Jesus sending out the...

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How to pray powerfully for peace

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

The World Together Blog

I’ve written before on praying for peace and how to pray for peace when you can’t find the words, but I’m still wrestling with how to pray for peace. If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain (Matt. 17:20-21), then why can’t our prayers bring peace? Is our faith so small, is my faith so microscopic, compared to a mustard seed? What does Scripture say about how to pray powerfully for peace? Pray often and pray regularly Over and over again, the Bible teaches praying for peace. So Psalm 122 tells pilgrims on their way to...

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Welcoming the outsider

By on Feb 15, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“Thank you for talking to me,” she repeated. Taken aback by her obvious gratitude, I nodded. I didn’t view it as a favor. Our college intramural group had walked to the beach across from campus, and I’d merely started a conversation with her along the way. She was easy to talk to, and I learned that she hadn’t really connected with anyone at our college and thus was about to transfer. Commuting was rough socially. I was surprised to realize that she seemed to think of me as popular since obviously I could think of more...

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Who says we have to respect authority?

By on Feb 14, 2017 in The World Together | 4 comments

The World Together Blog

I walked the halls of my high school, dreading (yet hoping) that my teacher would be there. Used to be my teacher, that is. It had been a few years since I’d graduated, and the hallways seemed smaller than I remembered. Yet the place, the sounds and the smells were still the same. I found him, back in his classroom at the end of the day when all the students had gone home. It was the moment I dreaded. “I came to talk to you about something that happened when I was your student,” I explained. “I doubt if you were aware of it, but I did...

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