There are a lot of big names in the history of the Anabaptist movement. There’s Menno Simons, who had the whole denomination of Mennonites named after him. There’s Conrad Grebel, who has a college named after him. There’s….wait, what other names are there? Maybe we don’t know as many people from the early Anabaptist movement as we think!
This week I’m going to be starting a series that will go on and off through the summer where I give an autobiographical sketch about an early Anabaptist. What made them tick? What was important to them, and how did their faith in God change their life?
This week I’m tackling Conrad Grebel. Having gone to a college named after him, you would think I would know more about him than I do. I was really surprised by what I found. What surprised me, you ask? Come to church on Sunday and find out!
This week’s prayer: Thank you God for our foremothers and forefathers in faith, who studied scripture carefully and shaped the church. Help us to be faithful too!
A tattoo is a big decision. It’s going to be around for a long time. When you choose a tattoo, you hope that you will appreciate it for the rest of your life. Maybe that’s why people tattoo things on their bodies…they want to make sure they remember something forever.
At the school for ministers this week, Irma Fast Dueck was talking about the concept of Gelassenheit. This is a german word that early Anabaptists used, which can be translated as yieldedness. She said she was talking about this concept to one of her students at Canadian Mennonite University, and she suddenly realized that he had the word “Gelassenheit” tattooed in big letters on his forearm. She said, “It makes you think…what can I say about Gelassenheit to someone who takes it so seriously they have it tattooed on their body!”
Imagine waking up every day and rubbing your eyes and being reminded that “yieldedness” to God is the path that you are choosing. Yieldedness morning, noon and night. Yieldedness as a young person, a middle aged person, as a senior. This Sunday we’ll be exploring what it means to “Yield” by reading James chapter 4.
This week’s prayer: I might as well have “Me first” tattooed on my arm, because that is the way I so often think. Help me to live with you first, Lord. Amen.