By Rebecca Roman
As an informal practice, The Messenger has avoided publishing Mother’s Day articles as it’s a cultural occasion rather than a holiday according to the Christian calendar. However, as the day falls on a Sunday, most churches use Mother’s Day as a way to acknowledge the contributions of women (whether mothers or not). Continue reading A Pandemic Mother’s Day
by Rebecca Roman
While Christians may be divided on the science of climate change, I think we can agree that the way we are living now is not sustainable in the long-term. In particular, industrialized countries are consuming more resources than we are producing.
According to the United Nations Statistics Division, in high-income countries in 2017 about 27 metric tons of natural resources were used to meet the needs of each person, 9.8 metric tons of which were extracted elsewhere in the world. Globally, consumption of natural resources increased by 50 percent from 1990 to 2017. Continue reading Firmly Planted on Earth and in Heaven
by Rebecca Roman
In this issue, Darryl Klassen describes some ways Christians can abuse scripture in his article, “Hermeneutical Fallacies and Sexuality.” One way, he says, is that “scripture can be used ungraciously, as a weapon, to ‘beat down’ the other.”
This is an aspect of scripture’s use that has often concerned me. There are descriptions in the Bible of God’s word as a weapon—not against people, but against “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Continue reading Scripture on the Proper Use of Scripture
by Terry Smith
As we celebrate the first coming of our Lord and await his return, this Advent is a time to hear again the inviting, haunting words of our Lord.
Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock…But everyone who…does not put them into practice is like a foolish man on sand. The rain came along, the streams rose, and the winds blew against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24–27). Continue reading Advent: The Inviting, Haunting Presence of Jesus
by Rebecca Roman
We soon approach the season of Advent. And what an Advent season it will be. In recent history, there may never have been a more poignant sense that we are in waiting. Waiting for life to return to normal. Waiting to be able to freely socialize with one another. Waiting to sing in worship services without the hindrance of masks. Waiting for an end to anxiety—that we may unknowingly spread disease to our friends, family or neighbours. Or, anxiety over getting ill ourselves or loss of income. All around the world, we are wondering: when will it be over? Continue reading COVID-19, Contagion, and Christ
by Darryl G. Klassen
“MASKS REQUIRED TO ENTER THIS STORE,” read the sign taped to the window of a mall shop. This was not surprising to either my wife or myself. We put on our masks and walked in to look around.
What was mildly surprising was how inconsistently the rule was applied. Some stores required masks while others suggested it would be best to wear one. On a national scope, a major chain has announced that no shoppers will enter unless they wear a mask. Others may yet follow suit. Continue reading Masks Required
by Erica Fehr
I knew about the book The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King long before it ended up in my house through no initiative on my part, and when it did show up, it sat there on the coffee table even longer before I had the courage to read it. I dreaded finding out about the things I and my people-group had done to cause harm. I was sure I would be defensive. I was sure it would be an angry book. But I also knew it was the right thing for me to do because some of the people I love most are First Nations. It turns out the book was much gentler than I had feared, I was able to submit my guilt to Jesus, and what I learned was very valuable. Continue reading Flight, Fight, or Freeze
By Terry M. Smith
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of our chosen sister send their greetings” (2 Jn 12-13). Continue reading Being Together Wasn’t Enough for Elder John
by Terry M. Smith
We know too well that we live in tough times.
Ancient times provide us with instructions about self-isolation, physical signs of warning and verbal calls of “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn the general public not to come near those who are ill, and of covering the mouth (Lev. 13:4-5, 45-46). The high priest would go to an isolated person before examining their physical condition (Lev. 14:3). People with leprosy called to Jesus from “far off” (Luke 17:12). May God protect our health care workers. Continue reading God is on the Side of Healing
by Terry M. Smith
At the time of this writing (started on Jan. 7) the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq by the U.S. has led to serious tensions among these three countries in particular and stress felt by more of the world. It’s a time for prayer and actions toward peace. Continue reading Iran, a Time for Prayer and Actions toward Peace