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Faithful witnesses: Alexanderwohl Mennonites

September 27th, 2010 by isaac · No Comments

A month ago I had a chance to visit with a Mennonite community in Goessel, Kansas: Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church. They are a rural community in the middle of farm land—corn and soybeans as far as the eye can see. A couple weeks ago I preached about what I learned from their community about the pilgrimage of faithful obedience. I used a passage from the book of Revelation to help make sense of the migration story that lies at the heart of the Alexanderwohl community: “I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name” (Rev. 2:13).

Here’s an excerpt from the sermon:

Sometimes the Christian thing to do is to leave, and sometimes the faithful thing to do is to stay. It’s hard to know which strategy is more faithful in different situations. The Mennonites of Alexanderwohl have tried both strategies. And who knows what might happen in the future. It may turn out to be the case that Christian faithfulness becomes impossible in the United States. Withdrawal and escape are always possibilities, even though history shows us that the powers of evil stretch across the earth.

“I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me” (Rev 2:13). That’s how Jesus opens up the letter he tells John the Seer to write to the church in Pergamum. The Christians live in a tough spot: right smack in the middle of Satan’s dominion. The control center for the powers of evil is in their backyard.

But the followers of Jesus in Pergamum have proven themselves faithful, even while living in the shadow of Satan’s headquarters. “You remain true to my name,” Jesus says to them.

For the rest of it, see my church website: “Faithful witnesses.

Tags: immigration · sermons