Kennel-Shank: Springtime rebirth

Apr 29, 2019 by

As the ground thaws and snow piles yield to beds of dark brown soil, I begin to scan for signs of new growth. For days on end in these colder regions, the earth still holds its riches underground. Finally, the...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

Bible: Under water, the death that saves

Sep 24, 2018 by

A classmate once told me the biblical story she found most irredeemable was that of Noah and his ark. When Joshua slaughters cities in God’s name, you can always blame Joshua. But who do you blame when God...

[read more]

Enduring the cross, despising the shame

Jul 16, 2018 by

If I were to try to convince someone to become a Christian, shame is not a quality I would advertise. I would probably talk about the wonderful sense of being set free from guilt, the comforting presence of a...

[read more]

Becoming the children of God

May 1, 2018 by

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” — 1 John 3:1 We are the children of God. For a lot of us today, this phrase, “children of...

[read more]

Kraybill: Let me sleep till Christ returns

Apr 9, 2018 by

When my earthly sojourn ends, please say that I died, not that I “passed.” The latter happens to footballs and plates of food. Aversion to death makes our culture prefer euphemism, but followers of Jesus...

[read more]

‘If you love me…’

Apr 5, 2018 by

After the resurrection of Jesus, there were still things he needed to teach the disciples before his ascension to heaven. The disciples, no doubt, had guilt about their disappearance during his trial, his...

[read more]

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead?

Apr 2, 2018 by

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? We discussed this question at Followers of Jesus Church Atlanta as part of our Easter celebration. How would you answer it? The resurrection is the basis for our...

[read more]

Bible: Breakfast with the risen Christ

Mar 26, 2018 by

I wish our Uniform Texts had started with Luke 23:55. In both the Greek New Testament and the NRSV, Luke 24:1 begins with “But . . . they came to the tomb.” What happened before the “but,” and who is...

[read more]

Awake, O sleeper

Mar 26, 2018 by

When a congregation has a lot of funerals in a short time, the shadow of death looms large. At the same time, the light of the Resurrection shines. Darkness and light, sorrow and hope, compete for power over...

[read more]

Resurrection reality

Mar 26, 2018 by

As we enter the Easter season, we’re celebrating not merely a feel-good story but an actual event in history. In the person of Jesus, God entered our space and time as one of us. He lived, died and returned...

[read more]

What is Christian hope?

Aug 28, 2017 by

We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul — Heb. 6:19 Once, I received an email at my church account that claimed to be from a TV network. According to the email, they were seeking Mennonite...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

Bible: How can we keep from singing?

Apr 10, 2017 by

“Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus,” the speaker said. “Nothing at all. Not anything we do — or anything we don’t do.” I pushed the rewind button and played the recording...

[read more]

Skeptic’s quest

Apr 10, 2017 by

Thomas, the doubting disciple, doesn’t make the list of biblical role models. But he deserves a second look. Scripture’s most famous skeptic has something to teach us about faith and doubt. The disciple...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

Youth keep school-kit tradition going strong

Sep 20, 2016 by and

McPHERSON, Kan. — Berg­thal Mennonite Church has passed into history, but its spirit of service lives. Two of its youngest former members have taken the lead in keeping the legacy going. They’ve revived...

[read more]

Not a fragile faith

Apr 28, 2016 by

In a recent Bible study, we were looking at John 20 where Jesus appeared to the disciples. Gathered behind locked doors, Jesus appeared in the midst of them and said “Peace be with you.” Then he...

[read more]

Christianity’s ‘exaggerated stuff’

Apr 25, 2016 by

“Yes, we are Christians,” an elderly man said on a sidewalk on the Greek island of Milos after giving directions to my wife, Ellen, and me. “But we don’t believe the exaggerated stuff.” The...

[read more]

How Jesus rope-a-doped the devil

Apr 18, 2016 by

The phrase “rope-a-dope” refers to a boxing tactic of pretending to be trapped against the ropes, goading an opponent to throw tiring ineffective punches. Muhammad Ali popularized this technique in his...

[read more]

The strengths of others

Apr 11, 2016 by

On Easter Sunday, Lutherans said a prayer for unity. The liturgy offered by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America asked the God of life to pour Christ’s “resurrection into the churches. Make visible...

[read more]

Resurrection lite or resurrection light?

Mar 31, 2016 by

Today I am reminded of what Michelle Webster-Hein once wrote: This morning at church I plunked out the four parts of an old hymn while above my chords the congregation’s voices took flight. And I thought of...

[read more]

7 weeks of celebration

Mar 28, 2016 by

Jesus is risen! When you read this, Resurrection Sunday may have passed, but this is our declaration for the next seven weeks. The organizers of the church calendar understood that Christ’s triumph over...

[read more]