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With the Jews

September 8th, 2010 by isaac · No Comments

I spent a week with the Mennonites in San Francisco (First Mennonite Church of San Francisco). There’s a lot to say about their church, but I decided to reflect on the significance of their space of worship. The Mennonites worship in a synagogue, which seems to me to be a profound testimony. Here’s a section from my reflection:

In San Francisco the Mennonites assemble as Christ’s body within the house of Israel. Gentiles have become children of God, wrote theologian Karl Barth in 1949, “only as those chosen with [the Jews]; as guests in their house.” For First Mennonite of San Francisco, Barth’s theology becomes flesh: The church is learning how to be a physical guest within a material house of Israel in diaspora…. The Mennonites have followed Jesus the Jew into one of Israel’s houses of worship. They show all of us that gentile Christians can’t help but be linked to the Jews because we build our lives around Jesus, who was born of a Jewish mother and circumcised on the eighth day. As Barth put it in his Church Dogmatics: “The Word did not simply become any flesh, any man humbled and suffering. It became Jewish flesh.”

For the rest of the article, follow this link to the Mennonite Weekly Review online version: Guests in a Jewish house

Tags: published · theology