Sermon Archives

October 13, 2019

Church as Exile

Church as Exile

He saw her in the market, a rare breath of beauty amid the misery of his life in the refugee camp. Someone said she was from his village back in Syria, which he fled when a Syrian government plane dropped bombs that destroyed his home. And now, on a hot afternoon two months later, Samah […]

October 6, 2019

Introverts in the Church

Introverts in the Church

I recently saw an advertisement for a new pastor. It specified that “the candidate must have an outgoing and energetic personality.” For many churches, the ideal pastor is outgoing, gregarious, loves to meet new people and shake their hands, is quick-witted in social conversations, has lots of energy, and dazzles people with charm and charisma. […]

September 22, 2019

From Loneliness to Solitude

From Loneliness to Solitude

About thirty years ago, I began my first pastoral assignment at Lombard Mennonite Church, in Lombard, Illinois. Back then I was an assistant pastor working under the supervision of the two senior pastors, Joe and Emma Richards. One morning in the church office, Joe announced that after lunch, he and I were going to visit […]

September 15, 2019

The Parable of the Disgraced Father

The Parable of the Disgraced Father

For most of my life, I have heard stories about the first house that my parents lived in. It was known to them and their neighbors as The Mengises. Mengis was the last name of the first owners of this house. So, in that rural community in Wayne County, Ohio the Schlonegers lived at the […]

September 8, 2019

What It Takes

What It Takes

A few years back, a Super Bowl commercial for Doritos and Pepsi Max was pulled before it had the chance to be aired. That’s because a lot of Christians complained that it was too offensive. Letters were written, petitions were circulated, and some vowed never to eat Doritos or drink Pepsi again. Given the controversial […]

September 1, 2019

From Scarcity to Abundance

From Scarcity to Abundance

If I mention “The Fyre Festival,” how many of you know what I’m talking about? The Fyre festival was supposed to be the best music festival on the planet. For thousands of dollars, you could hop on a private jet to Pablo Escobar’s island, rent out a fancy villa, listen to hot musical groups while […]

August 18, 2019

The Vineyard of Sour Grapes

The Vineyard of Sour Grapes

The history of Goshen, Indiana, according to Wikipedia: Goshen was platted in 1831. It was named after the Land of Goshen [the place in the Bible that the Egyptian pharaoh of Joseph gave to the Hebrews]. The initial settlers consisted entirely of old stock “Yankee” immigrants, who were descended from the English Puritans who settled […]

August 4, 2019

Under the Broom Tree

Under the Broom Tree

He was tough. He was fierce. And he didn’t suffer fools. He words were not the flowing, flowers of poetry but sharp, stinging slaps to the face. He was Elijah, the Tishbite, from Gilead. And he had received the word of the Lord. Empowered by that word, this man stood alone before royalty, King Ahab, […]

July 28, 2019

Parable not Prophecy

Parable not Prophecy

I was challenged in the fall of 2017 to preach on this passage from Matthew and believe me, it was a challenge! This parable of the wedding banquet is the last in a series of three parables that Jesus tells following his arrival in Jerusalem and the clearing of the temple courts. The first two […]

July 14, 2019

The Lord of Hosts

The Lord of Hosts

The great trees of Mamre. This is a significant place in the life of Israel.  There is a tradition, cited by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, that the trees of Mamre are as old as the world itself and another tradition that says these trees mark the spot where the Temple would eventually stand. But […]

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