Yahweh Has Always Been a Peacenik

Oct 5, 2017 by

Where did Jesus get his inspiration? From the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, of course. Little of what Jesus said was original with him. His genius was not so much in the substance of his sayings as in...

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Dining disaster in Galatians

Nov 24, 2015 by

Sitting at the table continues to be a metaphor for communing with other human beings. When we dine with others, we hear their stories, and we gaze into their eyes trying to see things as they see them. Table...

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Scripture versus experience

Oct 26, 2015 by

Our next three lessons cover large developments in the Jerusalem church and beyond. In Acts 12 we find Peter in prison guarded by four squads of soldiers. King Herod Agrippa, after beheading the apostle James,...

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Open the wells: meditation on a hymn

Oct 12, 2015 by

Dead to the world would I be, O Father. Dead unto sin, alive unto thee. — Elisha A. Hoffman The hymn, “Lord, I am fondly,” has been popping up in my head at random times. It is intensely personal. To...

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Peter’s vision shakes the foundation

Oct 12, 2015 by

While Saul is stowed away in his native Tarsus, the action moves back to the cities of Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea in Palestine, along the Mediterranean seacoast. Peter is now center-stage. He heals Aeneas, a...

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Complicated lines

Oct 12, 2015 by

Life is complicated for Daniel. Training to become a civil servant in a foreign country is tricky. Taking classes on the wisdom and literature of the Chaldeans is confusing. Studying astrology, omens and myths...

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For such a time as this

Oct 9, 2015 by

The story of Esther is an entertaining one, but I’ve been questioning this week what good it is to the church. This is a story where there are no truly good people, no heroes here. You know who you are...

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God’s bloody-knuckled door

Oct 7, 2015 by

Confession: I really like Taylor Swift love songs. (I can almost hear the sizzle of respect evaporating.) In my defense, I do know it’s ridiculous — dances in a dingy parking lot, lingering looks that last...

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A police officer questions pacifism

Oct 5, 2015 by

Police Officer: My theology totally lines up with your theology, except in one area: namely, your pacifism. I am a police officer, and it frankly seems obvious to me that there are times when it is proper, if...

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Where can anger live?

Oct 2, 2015 by

My friend made plans to come over. Before she arrived, she sent me a text warning me that the “well-meaning” white folks at her para-ministry job made her especially mad that day. She then added,...

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Let’s talk about sin

Oct 1, 2015 by

I have all but ousted the word “sin” from my Christian lexicon, referring instead to the more palatable sounding, “brokenness,” or the human “problem.” As a bilingual, cross-cultural worker, and a...

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Murkiness, comfort and hope

Sep 30, 2015 by

This is the first resurrection story in the Bible. Amidst all the miracles of the Hebrew scriptures — creation and the flood and the plagues and the red sea parting and the water in the wilderness — here...

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Stretching the boundaries

Sep 28, 2015 by

Peter saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down. . . . In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then he heard a voice saying, “Get up, Peter,...

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God’s power is not for sale

Sep 28, 2015 by

Stephen’s impassioned sermon from our last lesson incited such blood-lust in his listeners that he was immediately stoned to death. In praying for forgiveness for his killers, Stephen imitates Jesus on the...

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Opinion: Jude’s warnings come true

Sep 28, 2015 by

“Read the Book of Jude.” That was the message I received nearly nine months ago in a prophetic dream about Mennonite Church Canada’s first same-sex wedding. I have been focused in study and prayer...

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All lives (don’t) matter

Sep 25, 2015 by

Some political slogans have a long shelf life, but some sink from their own dead weight. There is probably nothing more obvious from the headlines of the news virtually every day — 50 years ago, tomorrow,...

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Jesus didn’t blow his own trumpet

Sep 14, 2015 by

Like a lot of Christians, I’ve often found Jesus’ reluctance to talk about himself strange and even unsettling. This is a particular theme in the Gospel of Mark — Jesus seeming to go out of his way to...

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What’s with the grapes?

Sep 1, 2015 by

I love communion. I was delighted to learn that my first pastorate was in a congregation that took communion once a month (more often than many Mennonite churches). But there is one question I’ve struggled...

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Comfortable with hell?

Aug 31, 2015 by

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” — C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce A boy in my...

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Birth pangs of the Jerusalem church

Aug 31, 2015 by

If we were reading this narrative as Luke intended, we would not start halfway through Acts 4. So let’s first get situated. Acts is Luke’s second volume and follows directly after his account of Jesus’...

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Fitting in

Aug 27, 2015 by

A few years ago, I was out for a walk with my son and we happened upon a little playground we’d never visited before. He hopped out of the stroller and started to play. After a few minutes of having the...

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God is not sad

Aug 25, 2015 by

A recent Christian trend was to pray something similar to, “Lord, let my heart break for the things that break your heart.” It was usually a prayer asking for increased empathy toward the poor,...

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Could Princeton’s Farminary change the culture of theological education?

Aug 24, 2015 by and

PRINCETON, N.J. — Eight years ago, Nathan Stucky left a Kansas farm to study youth ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary. At the time, he never imagined he would become Dr. Nathan Stucky. Even more...

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God’s presence in a new reality of loss

Aug 24, 2015 by

Recently a violent storm hit my life, ripping through my heart and shaking the foundation of my faith, when my husband Joel, suddenly and unexpectedly died. I was thrust into a new reality where nothing looked...

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What makes a life matter?

Aug 19, 2015 by

It was 36 degrees Celsius around these parts yesterday, which, for many Canadians used to considerably more chilly climes, means a general experience of sticky, sweaty unbearableness that makes us despair of...

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