Isaac reflects on his recent visit to Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church in Goessel, Kansas:
As these two sister congregations cross borders in order to commune with one another, they find themselves in communion with Christ. To use the words of Augustine of Hippo, the Holy Spirit is the presence of love that “holds them together in a knot of unity, …infusing souls and almost mixing them together.” The Mennonites of Alexanderwohl and Luz del Evangelio are being mixed together in the love of the Holy Spirit, and refashioned into a body of Christ that crosses over worship styles and geographic borderlines. The love of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit have drawn them into one another, mingling their bodies, and creating a new form of God’s presence.
The Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition is not a static identity in the past that we can reincarnate in the present. Instead, our tradition is a style of radical reformation, as theologian Chris K. Huebner argues in his book, A Precarious Peace. We are a people who are always being re-formed through the movement of the Holy Spirit. And for Luz del Evangelio and Alexanderwohl, the Spirit of God is a movement that is mixing up their stories and identities. The two distinct bodies, each with important cultural distinctions and formative stories of migration, are being re-formed through sharing the life of Christ with one another. As pastor Steve Schmidt said in his sermon, “The stories of Luz del Evangelio will become our stories. They will become our people.”
For the rest of the column, follow this link to the online version of the Mennonite Weekly Review: “Your people will be my people.”