This article was originally published by The Mennonite

October 2018 Call for Submissions: Putting ‘Love Your Enemies’ Into Action

The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our October 2018 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Putting ‘Love Your Enemies’ Into Action.

Description of the theme:

The Sermon on the Mount, a section in Matthew’s Gospel that includes teachings Jesus gave to his disciples, has been a key part of Mennonite beliefs over the centuries. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus went one step farther than the “love your neighbor” commandment: Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:43-48). What does it look like to put “love your enemies” into action today? For some of us, enemies are people with differing political or religious views, such as Christians vs. Muslims or conservatives vs. liberals. For others of us, enemies are people who harm us personally in some way. Sometimes enemies are institutions or structures – what the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12 called the “powers and principalities” – that benefit and wound us in different, unequal ways. Sometimes we face internal battles against our own tendencies, whether greed, gluttony, despair or deceit.

Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others:

  • How do you define an enemy? What makes someone an enemy?
  • Who is your enemy? What does it or would it look like to love them?
  • How might we better reflect love toward our “enemy,” given our current political climate?
  • How are you attempting to love an “enemy” that is a tendency within you?
  • What have your enemies taught you?
  • How have you been transformed by the love of your enemy?
  • Is loving your enemy a commandment we should take seriously? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • Have you had an experience being identified as someone or some group’s enemy? How and why did that take place?
  • When have you been considered an enemy and how do you experience love from the injured party?
  • How have institutions or structures, including the Mennonite church in the United States, been an enemy and persecuted others? What does it mean for these institutions and structures to repent from persecuting and enemy-making and extend love?

Submissions are due to no later than Aug. 26.

We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our updated anti-oppression guidelines as well as our editorial guidelines.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!