2021 Anthology, Conversations…
A Join the Conversation Post
For an editor, anthologies, as a genre’, cause a shiver of excitement and a shudder of angst. While the interface with one writer has unique challenges, the anthology with its multiple writers expands the challenge exponentially. As a writer, anthology contributors enjoy the satisfaction of a joint effort with the potential to expand the influence of all further than the one.
I have been responsible for Christian writer group anthologies for over ten years. My anthologies ended up as delightful excursions into the lives and experiences of the writers. Capital Christian Writers Fellowship’s 2021 Anthology, Conversations, Coming to Know God and Making Him Known presents a wonderful opportunity to CCWF members to contribute to a book which explores vital Christian ideas and experience, all for the purpose of declaring a message of hope to the dark, broken world around us.
Why Conversations? Sarah Hamaker invites us to the Conversation in her April 19, 2021 blog post for CCWF, Join the Conversation. She encourages CCWF members to participate in this opportunity to share their message of Christian hope in this collection of devotionals, essays, narratives, and poetry inspired by the themes of the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5 – 7)
The second question, “Why The Sermon on the Mount?” deals with the message. The chapters of Matthew’s gospel (5 – 7) called The Sermon on the Mount, have been identified by many as the “manifesto of the kingdom.” This portion of Scripture forms an exposé of the Kingdom. Jesus announced, “The Kingdom of God is at hand; The kingdom of God is among you.” To a culture that had been looking for the kingdom of God for centuries, this sounded like “good news.” But the kingdom Jesus describes in The Sermon on the Mount turned out to be quite different from the kingdom the Palestinian Jews had imagined.
In The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains what the kingdom of God looks like and how citizens of the kingdom live in the present evil age. He deals with blessedness, the function of kingdom citizens in a hostile world—light and salt, the difference between heart motivation and ridged compliance to law, the primacy of love, how to pray, where to store up treasure, how to manage worry, who can be the judge, what path leads to God, a life built on a solid foundation that produces good fruit. I would venture to say, our twenty-first century ideas of God’s kingdom may also stray far from how God created his kingdom to function. My pastor husband often introduces a challenging message with, “You want to know the questions on the final exam. Right?” Because of The Sermon on the Mount we need not be ignorant about how God will evaluate us as citizens of his kingdom.
Why The Sermon on the Mount? Because our message matters. Conversations… has one subject with many possible themes. The themes of The Sermon… help us know how to live good and righteous lives; how to find purpose and destiny in God’s kingdom—how to know God and pass that valued knowledge on to others. Our message is important!
Join your CCWF colleagues with submissions for Conversations, Coming to Know God and Making Him Known.
Johnese Burtram Served as Vice President of CCWF until June 2021. From 2012 to 2018, she served as Director of Northern Virginia Christian Writers Fellowship. She was contributor, editor, and publisher of NVCWF’s annual anthology. She writes to reflect the nature of Jesus and encourage others on their journey of spiritual transformation. She is ordained with the Assemblies of God.