Canadian Mennonite
Volume 10, No. 04
February 20, 2006


Write on our hearts

Mennonite congregations using the Lenten worship planning material prepared by the larger Mennonite Church will soon encounter Jeremiah 31:33: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

The verse is the central theme for worship during Lent, and Mary Schertz reflects beautifully on this intimacy between God and us in our Faith&Life section.

In the worship materials themselves, a suggested banner caught my attention as a worship planning group at my congregation prepared for upcoming Lenten services. On the banner, a circle—representing a heart—is pierced by a pen, causing drops of blood to fall below it.

It’s an uncomfortable image, but right for us to consider. The image is a lesson to me that having God’s law written on our hearts is often a painful process. We notice it and sometimes we resent and rebel against it. It is no small matter to ask God to write on our hearts. Like signing a newly purchased book, God wants to draw us inward and mark us as his own.

Ash Wednesday services are uncommon in the Anabaptist tradition, but I find the traditional church practice of marking foreheads with a cross of ash a powerful expression of this verse from Jeremiah. When else during the year are we so tangibly reminded of what our ultimate future is on earth, and of Jesus’ ultimate act of reconciliation on the cross for us? Death is the highest possible price to pay for living.

As we read in I Peter 2:24-25, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”

During these darker Lenten times of the church year, let us renew that costly covenant between God and us.

• A few issues ago we launched electronic delivery of Canadian Mennonite and I’ve since had a few requests for Canadian Mennonite on tape. I would explore this option with readers. Please let me know if you would prefer an audio version of the magazine. Also, if you might consider ministering to the church by being a reader, I’d love to hear from you.

• Many use this magazine as a way of finding what new church-related job openings are available. In order to make this time-sensitive information faster to access, we have added a new section to our website that publishes each issue’s classified ads before they are seen in print format. Look for the new link now at

• If you have not received your Jan. 23 issue, please contact us for a replacement—a number of issues were not delivered due to label glue not sticking well. Our apologies! We are investigating new label technologies to prevent this from happening in the future.

• A personal thank you for your support for my wife and me during her four-month convalescence following surgery. Her last tube was removed a week ago and she has now made a full recovery. Thanks be to God!

• I look forward to hearing feedback on Canadian Mennonite from as many of you as I can as I attend the upcoming MC B.C., MC Alberta and MC Eastern Canada annual delegate sessions, or at Canadian Mennonite’s annual general meeting in Saskatoon in mid-March.

—Tim Miller Dyck

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