With poetic grace and an invitational tone, Cynthia Wallace of Warman (Sask.) Mennonite Church challenged Assembly 2016 participants at the July 6 worship service to dream boldly and then asked if they were ready for God’s response.
Using the “God~Faith~People” theme text from Jeremiah 31, Wallace characterized the Old Testament story as filled with surprises and “tenacious hope.” God’s people in Jeremiah’s day expected neither destruction nor a new covenant.
“God terminates what is most precious, and then gives more again as an explanation,” she said about God’s promise to a covenant people.
Wallace, who is assistant professor of English at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan, grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church. She said that she chose to become Mennonite because of the gifts Mennonites had to offer the world, gifts like “thriving through loss at the edges of empire.”
“We have not always made room for the discomfort of confession,” she said. “Heaven forbid that we lose sight of the work that God has called us to do because we’re busy focussing all our energies on our conflicts.”
When Christians confess their “failures and fears and losses, [they] open space for hope, for life rising from death,” she concluded.
To view a video of Wallace’s sermon, visit bit.ly/cindy-wallace.
See more on Assembly 2016:
Taking down our harps (editorial)
Hope through lament and loss (overview)
Covenant and law: A matter of relationship (focus on speaker Safwat Marzouk)
The Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2016 page has links to reports, videos, news sheets and more.