Bible: Exiles, aliens and six virtues

Nov 13, 2019 by

Both texts for Nov. 17 and 24 are from letters attributed to the Apostle Peter. Both take the gospel of Jesus from its Jewish origins into different ethnic contexts later in the first century. Both emphasize...

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Why do most Christians reject pacifism?

Oct 30, 2019 by

There are at least two major sets of reasons why most Christians reject pacifism: biblical arguments and general objections. And there are answers to all of them. Biblical arguments Jesus said, “I did not...

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Bible: On holy ground with the Thessalonians

Oct 28, 2019 by

My friend Robin loves mystery stories, as do I. But when she starts one, she always reads the ending first so she won’t worry about things ending badly. Me, I like the suspense! Our text for Nov. 3 reminds...

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Bible: Finding faith in unexpected places

Oct 14, 2019 by

Our last two faith stories in October take place some 800 years after our visit with Elijah on Oct. 13. We are back in northern Israel, although now Roman domination replaces an Israelite king. Both this story...

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Bible: Faithfulness is a two-way street

Sep 30, 2019 by

“Watch your step! Behave yourself! Remember the rules I told you!” September’s lessons focused on God’s faithfulness to Israel. October’s theme includes human responses to God’s faithfulness. Our...

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Bible: Rebellion in the wilderness

Sep 16, 2019 by

Imagine your family has been excitedly preparing for a two-week camping trip. You have a new tent and lots of supplies and food. The first few days are great fun — hiking, watching birds, swimming and eating...

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Kraybill: A political leader’s offenses

Sep 2, 2019 by

How much offensive conduct by a government official does it take until religious and political leaders protest or help turn the culprit out of office? The antiquities department at the Louvre museum in Paris...

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Bible: Gifts from heaven: a son, and bread

Sep 2, 2019 by

“God Is Faithful” is the Uniform Series lesson theme for September. The five examples of God’s faithfulness are the rescue of Lot’s family, Hannah’s prayer for a son and three texts from the Exodus...

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The things I believe

Aug 30, 2019 by

I believe in the God revealed in the Bible. The great and terrible Almighty and Eternal Creator of all things, who hates all unrighteousness. I believe that he is at the same time loving, merciful and...

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Bible: Bargaining with God, and winning

Aug 19, 2019 by

The formal title of this lesson is “Faith and Doubt,” but the twists and turns in the complex narrative comprising Genesis 18-19 are worthy of a more dramatic title. How about “Debate, Destruction and...

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Warning in Scripture

Aug 19, 2019 by

J. Nelson Kraybill’s account of visiting the replica of Noah’s ark in Williamstown, Ky., (“Ark Encounters Modern Science”) was both sobering and hilarious. Imagine “juvenile dino­saurs” on the...

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Weighing inerrancy

Aug 19, 2019 by

Thank you for publishing Ted Grimsrud’s “How I Gained, and Lost, Inerrancy.” I appreciated his pointing out that human doctrines and traditions are often mistakenly promoted as biblical truths rather...

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El Paso and Dayton mass shootings: Christians must act as well as pray

Aug 6, 2019 by and

Back-to-back murderous acts of gun violence left at least 29 dead and 53 injured in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 3-4. Many Americans want to help but feel helpless to do so. One doesn’t have to...

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Bible: Risking everything for covenant love

Aug 5, 2019 by

In Ruth 3, a young widow heads to the threshing floor. If you were an ancient reader of this story, if you heard it recited by your friends around a campfire, if you listened to it whispered to you by the...

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Yoder-Short: Messy situations, then and now

Aug 5, 2019 by

The timing of information entering our thoughts can create loud clashes. The same week I was rereading the story of Hagar, I heard a plea to not compromise on God’s Word, to hold on to the Bible as our moral...

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Does church membership have scriptural grounds?

Jul 30, 2019 by

Earlier this year, the Constituency Leaders Council of Mennonite Church USA began a discernment process regarding what ought to be done with the denomination’s membership guidelines. From the brief report...

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Bible: In shared lives, your God is mine

Jul 22, 2019 by

One of the greatest stories of friendship in the Old Testament, a story of choosing God through friendship, comes to us in the Book of Ruth. It is the story of a pagan from Moab who decides to join her life to...

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Losing inerrancy

Jul 19, 2019 by

When I was 17 years old, almost exactly 47 years ago, I made a decision to become a Christian. At the time, my motivation was that I wanted to know the truth. As a thoughtful, idealistic adolescent, I thought...

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Bible: You are not the worst thing you have done

Jul 8, 2019 by

You are not the worst thing you have done. These are the words that pervade each moment of my time with the women at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women. Our congregation has volunteered at the...

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Breath of God gives life to Christian community

Jul 5, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Stop doing whatever you’re doing and breathe, before it’s too late. Meghan Good challenged worshipers the morning of July 5 at the Mennonite Church USA convention to be powered not by...

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Delegates study ‘unity of the Spirit,’ offer ideas for peacemaking

Jul 4, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mennonite Church USA delegates on July 4 studied the biblical vision for “unity of the Spirit,” heard the announcement of a mission leader’s retirement and offered ideas for the...

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Bible study: ‘The church is a mess. Thanks be to God!’

Jul 3, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the first day of the Mennonite Church USA delegate assembly July 3, delegates started a Bible study on themes of unity in Ephesians and heard a state-of-the-church message from...

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Bible: Congratulations! Jesus says

Jun 24, 2019 by

For most of my life I read the Beatitudes as instruction, a mild if not righteous scolding. What if, instead of new commandments for people to follow, the Beatitudes are a description of the people Jesus sees...

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Miller: Lord, what about him?

Jun 24, 2019 by

What to you makes a satisfactory life? The apostle John writes of an incident soon after Jesus had risen from the dead that is very telling. Jesus had just prophesied Peter’s death by crucifixion. Peter, in...

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Yoder-Short: Waiting in line for water

Jun 24, 2019 by

Growing up on a farm, one of my jobs was to carry water to the chickens. I thought I was working hard. I carried water maybe 30 feet, sometimes making two trips so the bucket wouldn’t be too heavy. The water...

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