Mourning & Hope

I want to write of joy. Winter sunshine promising spring. Green bulbs emerging through soggy brown leaves. Crocuses now, tulips later. But the Lenten readings keep foreshadowing Good Friday. Stories of betrayal and violence. Last night we began our meeting with the tale of Joseph. His father’s favor and his brothers’ jealousy. Their shepherding left something to be

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Blood and Sacrifice

We have a violence problem. As a nation. As a religion. Intertwined. How might our theology of blood sacrifice condone violence? Perhaps our image of God has become twisted by religious practices that glorify sacrifice and bloodshed: singing that blood washes away sin, drinking blood at communion, celebrating crucifixion as a transaction that buys life. “But that

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February showers

Rain in Champaign. Snow in Denver. Falling on us collectively, alone in our cars and on the crowded freeway. Watering the earth. Initiating a process of rebirth, making it conceive and yield plants and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater,   Isaiah 55:10 (CEB) Are we the hungry today? Needing the word of life,

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love by numbers

Music. Math. What entices you to fellowship? (Math??) Sometimes the singing. Where our joyful noise combines with musicians’ gifts to become a pleasing sound. I move into the Lord’s presence as my body participates, while my mind considers how I believe the words of my mouth. Singing Blessed be Your Name as we approach Lent, I found myself asking fervently

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Wash your hands

Please. It’s flu season. Wash your hands frequently. After you touch something unclean, before you eat. When you get home from work, back from the store, wash off those germs. And all those glasses and hand towels — wash them too. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash

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Need a Creed?

At New Covenant, we aren’t into creeds. This is important to our identity — choosing no defining formula for what we all believe. But it does complicate our ability to articulate who we are. What is the essence of our Fellowship? Is it possible to describe ourselves by what we embrace, rather than by what we do

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sola Scriptura

I read it. You read it. He reads it. We all read Scripture. In our own language, in the translation(s) of our choice. We quote it. We excerpt it. We print it and project it on screens in sanctuaries. Scripture is both beautiful and dangerous. A gem with 70 faces and a sword that cuts

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Expectation and revelation

What do I expect to happen when I sit down with scripture each morning? I come to the table with hope and with need. Looking for a word, a phrase—for strength, encouragement, direction, revelation. About who God is. About myself. For something to share. What do I (think I) know of God’s character? And how

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Devotion

I could not have imagined a better introduction to Acts than an all-fellowship retreat focused on community and the Holy Spirit. And, of course, I didn’t plan it. While I was working on our fall teaching series, a different group was finding an available date and location, planning communal meals, and praying about discussion topics. Like fellow devout Jews

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An NCF teenager shares his reflections on Truth

What do you know to be true? Eastern Mennonite University asked, and one of the teenagers in our fellowship, Theophilus Jackson, responded. Before he leaves to join the EMU freshmen class, Theo shares his thoughts with us. -Renée *   *   *   *   * What I know is true is that there are way

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