Love your neighbor; plant seeds

Apr 27, 2017 by

Like many churchgoers, I grew up with a steady diet of sermons about the parables of Jesus — stories about things like lost sheep, coins and sons; Good Samaritans and unforgiving servants; mustard seeds and...

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Honoring God with environmental justice

Apr 26, 2017 by

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...

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Remembering the Holocaust

Apr 25, 2017 by

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...

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Ready to repent

Apr 24, 2017 by

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...

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4 ways Christians can love the soil on Earth Day

Apr 20, 2017 by

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...

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God’s voice, Scripture’s inspiration

Apr 17, 2017 by

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...

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‘A star in the jaws of the clouds’

Apr 14, 2017 by

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...

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God on God’s terms

Apr 13, 2017 by

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....

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No Tomahawk missiles in the kingdom of God

Apr 12, 2017 by

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...

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Jesus: king or prophet?

Apr 11, 2017 by

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...

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Are we stuck at the cross?

Apr 10, 2017 by

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...

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Things borrowed — a donkey, a room, a tomb

Apr 7, 2017 by

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....

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Gun shots and privilege

Apr 4, 2017 by

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,...

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Rethinking Judas

Apr 3, 2017 by

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...

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We are still willing

Mar 31, 2017 by

I remember Michael J. Sharp (MJ) as a rambunctious junior high kid from the time we overlapped life at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center and Scottdale in Western Pennsylvania. I’ve been aware of his work...

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Nationalism, civil religion and greed-based economics

Mar 30, 2017 by

Among the ways the last book of our Bible is truly revelatory is in its portrayal of violence and harm as perpetrated by evil systems rather than simply by individual evildoers. It does so through a collage of...

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No more palms, please

Mar 29, 2017 by

Most Christians never question where the palms on Palm Sunday come from. It never occurred to me, until my first year pastoring, that someone had to get the palms (and order them well in advance). But as we...

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‘From death to life’

Mar 27, 2017 by

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. — Col. 3:15 On Easter morning in April 1528 in Augsburg, Germany, almost 100 Anabaptists were rounded up by...

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God’s love is cruciform

Mar 24, 2017 by

Paul instructs us in what it means to follow Jesus, when he stated, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for...

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Transformed by the Word

Mar 23, 2017 by

Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events launched by Mennonite World Conference to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. “Transformed by the Word: Reading Scripture in...

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Spiritual but not religious

Mar 22, 2017 by

I am usually quite suspicious of oft-repeated expression, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Actually, “suspicious” might be putting it rather mildly. I have something bordering on a pathological...

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Inflated relief a new goal for today

Mar 21, 2017 by

Last year, Mennonite Central Committee declared its $42.2 million response since 2012 to war in Syria and Iraq the single largest crisis response in MCC history. That would be true if a dollar’s value...

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A view of heaven and earth

Mar 17, 2017 by

When I was a kid, I remember envisioning heaven as I sang hymns and praise songs at church. I remember it being a very bright, light-flooded expanse of space with gold floors, in which a huge group of people...

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Dating is worship

Mar 15, 2017 by

We know that everything should be done for the glory of God, but sometimes it’s easy to subconsciously leave some activities off the list. Such as dating. In dating, it’s easy to get our focus off...

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In need of amazing grace

Mar 13, 2017 by

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see. I am not the biggest fan of Christian music, but this song always manages to stir...

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