Using Matthew 10:34-39, Melissa shows that seeking peace is not for the faint-heated. This was the third in the series on Mennonite identity.
In Melissa’s second sermon in the series on being Mennonite, she drew from Matthew 18:15-20 and Acts 15:22-35 and focused on discernment and decision making within the body. The concept of the “priesthood of all believers” is an Anabaptist distinctive. It’s a part of what binds us together. How we go about making decisions matters as much as the decision itself.
We live into these decisions borne out of our shared life, out of our listening, out of listening to those at the margins, out of trusting each other. That’s the work we’ve been given to do.
Melissa started a new four-part series on Mennonite identity this Sunday. Before the sermon, Pam read the poem “Mennonites,” by Julia Kasdorf and Joy read the response, “A New Mennonite Replies to Julia Kasdorf,” by David Wright. (Sorry, cant’ find a version of the second one online.)
Being Mennonite is not something rooted in birth or cultural traditions. It’s a disposition of patience, a slow coming into the life of a community, being vulnerable to one another’s voices, of learning how to receive the gift of another.
We’re all in this together as a community, where everyone has a part, where every person sings a song.
Rachel Taylor takes on the persona of a playwright from Coventry 600 years ago to tell about the creation of the Coventry Carol and remind us of the incredible gift of the Christchild.
The song gives voice to the anger of the women whose children were killed by King Herod, as told in Matthew 2:13-23. Even more, it’s a lullaby about the absolute, total love of God our mother who loves us so much she can’t be satisfied with leaving us to the powers of sin and death, but sent her own child to be with us in the mess our sin creates.
In the midst of the message Pam Bruns sings the haunting lullaby.
God is making a world, inviting you to be a part of it. We are all in the process of unlearning from our past.
Advent is a time to press deeper into the unknown, to anticipate the unexpected. It’s a time to reflect and to be comfortable with the ambiguity of the darkness. “We must walk slower than we have, to give attention to our steps, the rise and root of the ground, to give careful attention to one another, to accept the not seeing fully, to make ourselves comfortable with knowing little, to situate ourselves in uncertainty.”
Melissa also closed with a poem from artist Jan Richardson.
On this Christ the King Sunday Melissa spoke of Jesus’ crucifixion, the very first Christian community and the radical example of our Anabaptist forebears. The scripture texts were from Jeremiah 23:1-6 and Luke 23:33-43.
Many church leaders have said, in response to the recent political machinations, “God is in control.” However, that does not mean that everything will be all right. We are called into a Christian community into which not everything is all right. We are called to transform ourselves into a community of people so dangerous that we can not be allowed to exist.