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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It’s better to receive

Jun 24, 2019 by

Thank you for Melessa Florer-Bixler’s “Literal, Symbolic — or Both?” (Bible, May 27). Having grown up in the Mennonite Church, I can easily identify with her dilemma. Two additional resources are...

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Bible: Hold fast to the body

Jun 10, 2019 by

What does it take to believe? Perhaps it is a body. The writer of the letter to Colossae is filled with longing. “I am struggling for you”; “I am with you in spirit.” His letter pours forth with the...

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The Bible leans more socialist than you think

Jun 5, 2019 by

When it comes to wealth, God clearly favors equality. I find it interesting how much attention the Bible gives to the issue of equity and justice with regard to how wealth is to be distributed. In the first...

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Bible: Literal, symbolic — or both?

May 27, 2019 by

“Take, this is my body”: These words are the crux of contention, the source of division for any hope of a shared communion practice in the universal church. What did Jesus mean? Did the bread become his...

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Bible: Together — root, trunk and branch

May 13, 2019 by

Last fall I grafted a half dozen varieties of apples onto my apple tree. I’m a poor and inexperienced grafter, so not surprisingly only a couple of them took. I discovered one in the spring — a stout...

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Kraybill: Remember, I am with you

Apr 29, 2019 by

Two kilometers west of Capernaum, a stream of warm water swirls around my feet and spills into the Sea of Galilee. This is Tabgha (“Seven Springs”), where a lush oasis covers the shoreline. Warm water...

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Bible: Mountains below the surface

Apr 29, 2019 by

One thing I love about Kansas is the mountains. Oh, we have them all right. They’re just buried under 600 feet of Harney Silt Loam. These Kansas mountains, called the Nemaha Ridge, are composed of massive...

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Of creeds and confessions

Apr 24, 2019 by

“Ours is not a creedal church,” I often hear. That is, we don’t officially hold churches and their members to any of the historic statements of faith from the first few centuries of church history, such...

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Bible: Want proof of the resurrection?

Apr 15, 2019 by

Oh, for a video camera trained on the tomb on that original Easter Sunday! How perfect it would be to witness the grinding of the grave stone, the genuflection of the soldiers, the gleaming of the...

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Yoder-Short: The finger of blame

Apr 1, 2019 by

It is convenient to blame a foreigner, a religious outsider, a domineering woman. Who is to blame for Israel’s unfaithfulness? Who is to blame for Naboth’s death? Conveniently, we blame Jezebel. Israel had...

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What’s infallible?

Apr 1, 2019 by

Several letters in the March 18 issue lament Mennonite Church USA’s loss of a “biblical gospel.” Two writers left the church because the 1995 Confession of Faith doesn’t call the Bible...

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Bible: What’s your alabaster jar?

Apr 1, 2019 by

While the chief priests and elders schemed to kill Jesus, a woman entered Simon the leper’s house and blessed him with costly perfume. “Why this waste?” said the disciples. “This ointment could have...

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Bible: To cure, cleanse, exorcise — and resurrect

Mar 18, 2019 by

A Peruvian pastor friend tells the story of leading a group of young evangelists out to some remote villages along the sinuous mountain roads of the Andes. When a lamb darted in front of their van pursued by...

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Bible: You’ve already been called home

Mar 4, 2019 by

When the State of Illinois decided to expand I-74 just north of our family farmstead in a multiyear spate of civil engineering angioplasty, my father decided to move our house. This was no small feat. Our...

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Bible: Because Jesus is true

Feb 18, 2019 by

Sometimes I talk to my seatmates on the plane. Sometimes I don’t. But when the young woman next to me had a panic attack brought on by her just-discharged-from-Afghan­istan post-traumatic stress, how could...

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Bible: The past that guides the future

Feb 4, 2019 by

We don’t often have the chance to witness mass religious festivals of a kind seen regularly in some parts of the world. They are unforgettable: the Muslim hajj, the Easter throngs in southern Africa or the...

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Bible: God in the fortress — or the slum

Jan 21, 2019 by

A famous impressionist artist once said, “I know what I’m looking at, but what am I seeing?” This inviting question leads to the heart of Psalm 48. At first glance, an ancient traveler approaching the...

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Bible: Threatened with the Resurrection

Jan 7, 2019 by

The late Vincent Harding, an African-American scholar and civil rights activist with Mennonite connections, recounted a visit to Guate­mala to witness the turmoil and suffering of its oppressed indigenous...

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Bible: The peril of being a winner

Dec 17, 2018 by

From his vantage point at the dawn of the second century, the author of James casts an eye across the churchscape of his time, taking its measure. He is unsettled. And with good reason. He sees the exiled,...

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At the Intersection: Psalm 131

Dec 5, 2018 by

There are people who take to driving as naturally as walking. For me as a wide-eyed 14-year-old with a newly minted learner’s permit, it seemed a feat akin to flying. I simply couldn’t understand how...

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Bible column: An all-in kind of love

Dec 3, 2018 by

Crack the first windows of your family Advent calendar and you will soon enough hear Mary and Zachariah and the angels in lyric worship and praise. The hour of promise come ’round could only ever begin that...

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Hearts joined in a bond with heaven

Nov 19, 2018 by

Hear the opening lines of Deuteronomy 6 and you cannot escape a feeling that you have stumbled on some center pole of sacred story, a great stake having been driven to the core. It’s as though you find...

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