The Nature of God’s Presence

We don’t often think of these opening verses of John’s Gospel as a nativity story, but it is, in it’s own way. It may not have the narrative flair of Matthew or Luke’s version, but it makes up for that with its theological heft. Despite their differences, the Gospel nativity stories all address a core…

Full Spiritual Stature

Megan Ramer is pastor of Seattle Mennonite Church, a lover of travel adventures both large and small, a Friday Sabbath hiker, and a proud aunt of five of this world’s most adorable little nuggets. (This post was originally published on December 19, 2014.) – – – – – – – – – Mary, having just…

The Miracle of “Yes”

Ron Adams is pastor of Madison Mennonite Church. This piece was originally published on December 12, 2014.   – – – – – Have you ever wondered what God was thinking when coming up with the plan for the incarnation? I think you have to admit the entire concept is pretty out there. God coming…

Preparing the Way for Renewal

Erica Lea-Simka serves as pastor of Albuquerque Mennonite Church. This post was originally published December 11, 2014. – – – – – – I lived my entire life in Texas. Now I live in Washington, D.C. where they have these magical machines called snow plows that clear off the road so cars can drive, people…

Isaiah 64: A Surprising God

About eleven years ago, world famous violinist Joshua Bell put on blue jeans, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap and took his Stradivarius to a D.C. Metro station. As any good busker does, he threw some seed money in the case and started playing. Over a thousand people streamed by as he played for 45…

Isaiah 40: God’s Goodness to the Nations

By Jeremy Garber What we think matters – sometimes even more than we think. Recently I’ve been reading an intriguing book about my favorite philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, that mentions Renaissance theologians like Nicholas of Cusa and Pico della Mirandola. In a nutshell, these philosophers say that every being in creation is a unique revelation of…

Offertory Prayers for Advent

The four offertory prayers below are written for the four Sundays of Advent to coordinate with the Advent candle themes.   Holy One, this Advent season we wait in hope. And we give in hope. Hope for your coming reign; Hope because of your presence with us even now. Receive these generous offerings, And use…

Longing for Restoration: Psalm 80

–By Ben Wideman (originally published December 2, 2014) We all long for restoration. We live in a culture that is consumed with fear that we aren’t good enough. Our fears make us worry about finding the right job, and keeping that job when we find it. We have fears about health and security, about finances…

Tear Open Heaven: Isaiah 64

–By Amy Yoder McGloughlin (originally published December 1, 2014) O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble…

A God Who Stoops: Thoughts for Advent 1

Mark 13:24-37; Isaiah 64:1-9 Preparing for the first Sunday of Advent one year, I asked a colleague, Samuel Voth Schrag, what he was thinking about for his upcoming sermon “Oh,” he said, “I’m going to talk about Dues ex machina.” In case you’ve forgotten your English classes, duex ex machina is a literary device: It…