Sermon Archives

Lent
April 9, 2017

Where Was God?

Where Was God?

We whites would like to forget about it. We would like to pretend it never happened. Nevertheless, one of the terrible truths about American history is that from approximately 1880 through 1960, white Americans lynched around 5,000 blacks in this country.[1] Most of the lynched people were men, but about 2% were women.[2] Usually lynching […]

April 2, 2017

Breathe the Breath

Breathe the Breath

In the United States at the present time, fear of the other is perhaps more powerful than it’s been in recent memory. We hear people demean others who look different, act different, or think different. National rhetoric urges us to be afraid of “radical Islamic terrorism,” or to be suspicious about “enemies of the people,” […]

March 26, 2017

We See

We See

It’s bad enough being a kid and having your mother give you a spit bath, but to be an adult, and have some complete stranger wipe their spit on your face, well, that’s just going a bit too far! And it wasn’t just spit, but spit mixed with dirt to make mud! What was Jesus […]

March 19, 2017

We Thirst

We Thirst

I was tempted to re-use the sermon I preached here 3 years ago, because it still seemed to be so relevant to what is going on in the world. In that sermon, I talked about how Jesus crossed many boundaries and borders in his interaction with the Samaritan woman. We live, still, in a world […]

March 12, 2017

Looking to Jesus

Looking to Jesus

Once in a while, you will hear people say that the Bible doesn’t deal with politics. The Bible only deals with spiritual things, they claim, and has nothing to say about economics, race relations, refugees, and especially politics. For these people, the Bible only addresses spiritual issues. The Bible isn’t political. But we who read […]

March 5, 2017

Hope for the Struggle

Hope for the Struggle

Over the last four months I’ve participated in a number of conversations with other Mennonites about the new reality here in the United States. In these conversations people name at least three aspects of our new reality, which I list here in no particular order. The reigning political climate openly vilifies immigrants and refugees, some […]

March 20, 2016

Desire and Resistance

Desire and Resistance

A regrettable part of Christianity is the deplorable way we Christians have sometimes treated Jews. Even we in the Anabaptist tradition have been guilty of a certain amount of anti-Semitism. For instance, a few years before he turned Anabaptist, Balthasar Hubmaier preached vigorously against Jews in the city of Regensburg where he was then living. […]

March 13, 2016

The Smell of Love

The Smell of Love

She couldn’t get the smell of death out of her nostrils. It seemed to cling to her—her clothes, her hair, her skin. It didn’t matter where she went, or how many times she had bathed, the smell went with her. It didn’t matter that Lazarus was now alive and eating with their friends; he had […]

March 6, 2016

Two Lost Sons

Two Lost Sons

Most of my life I’ve assumed that this parable is about repentance and forgiveness. People get to the theme of repentance and forgiveness partly by focusing on the younger son, often called the prodigal son. People also get to this interpretation from verses 18 and 19. In those verses the starving younger son decides to […]

February 28, 2016

Clinging to God in the Wilderness

Clinging to God in the Wilderness

The sun beats down. The fatigue sets in.  The food stores are depleted, and there hasn’t been fresh water for days. The wind howls, as do the jackals that have been trailing at a distance – better them than the king’s army looking for your blood. And the doubt sets in: you know that everything […]

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