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It’s “Difficult Passages” month and the midweek blog is an opportunity to talk not about those difficult biblical passages themselves, but about other passages that help us think about the difficult passages.  Last week: Jacob wrestling with God.  This week: Abraham haggling with God.

Genesis 18:22-33 occurs right after Abraham and Sarah have extended hospitality to three travelers, and right before the infamous destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  After refreshing themselves and eating their fill, two of...

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.  Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”  So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”  Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”

— Genesis 32:24-28

Although...

(This is my first foray into the world of mid-week blogging, so I apologize for turning it into a late-to-mid-week blog instead.  If you’re anything like me, the weekend still feels far enough away that it might as well still be midweek. I welcome your comments.)

 

A couple weeks ago in Sunday School, I was caught off guard by some of the youth in the class I am co-teaching.  We typically structure our time together to begin with snack and getting-to-know you activities then move toward digging into the scripture lesson for the day.  On this particular Sunday, when we started...

“To you who wakens all who sleep and stirs all those who slumber, who gives speech to those who cannot speak, who frees the captive and upholds the falling, who makes upright those bent down – to you alone we offer thanks.”

This morning there are songs and chants of praise in our sanctuary.  Little Minyan is a Reconstructionist Jewish community that uses our building to celebrate their high holy days, today observing Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish year.  A minyan refers to the quorum of Jewish worshipers needed to carry out certain religious obligations. ...

Mark Rupp has been pastoring at Columbus Mennonite for nearly a month and this coming Sunday is his installation service.  Mark will preach, and Lois Kaufmann, our Central District Conference Minister, will be here and will lead this part of the service.  For first time pastors, installation is usually accompanied with the conference’s giving of a ministry license, a two year credential which can lead toward ordination.

If you have been following denominational publications you know that Mountain States Mennonite Conference, after a year and a half long period of conversations and...

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