Sermon Archives

Lent
April 3, 2022

From Scarcity to Abundance

From Scarcity to Abundance

A number of years ago, I attended a church leadership retreat at Camp Amigo in Sturgis, Michigan. On our second day there, we were invited to an extended time of silence. There were different stations set up for us to pray and to reflect, but we were told to use that time as we wished. […]

March 27, 2022

From Exceptionalism to Inclusion or Will the Real Prodigal Please Stand Up?

From Exceptionalism to Inclusion or Will the Real Prodigal Please Stand Up?

When I was 15 I started to rebel against my parents. I thought they were too strict, so I pushed against their boundaries. One hot, July night I went out with some friends. They didn’t want me to go, but I did anyway. We didn’t do anything really bad. We were just boys being boys, […]

March 20, 2022

From Earning to Receiving

From Earning to Receiving

Luke, chapter 13, tells the story of when some people came up to Jesus and told him about a group of Galileans who were brutally murdered by Pilate, their blood spread on the offerings that they were bringing to God. Jesus had been teaching about God’s love and forgiveness. He also had been teaching about […]

March 13, 2022

From Privilege to Cruciformity

From Privilege to Cruciformity

Many of you here know of Michael “MJ” Sharp, I assume. He spent part of his growing up years in Goshen and went to Bethany Christian High School, where he had a bit of a reputation as a trouble-maker. But he was very smart and had an expansive vision of what he wanted to do […]

March 6, 2022

From Security to Generosity

From Security to Generosity

On Wednesday evening — Ash Wednesday evening, I received a mark of ashes on my forehead in the shape of a cross, just like the one I’m wearing now. As I received it, I was told these words, just these words: “Mark, from dust you’ve come, and to dust you shall return.”

March 21, 2021

Hearts, minds, and possession

This dirt is mine. Well, it’s my wife Sarah’s too, and yes, it’s mostly the bank’s. But let’s not get distracted by the details. Under the law, this dirt is mine because I paid for the exclusive right to call it mine, and what that means is that no one else can call it theirs. […]

March 14, 2021

It matters where we gaze

I was probably in elementary school when my family took a trip through the mountains of PA. My dad was driving and as he rounded a curve a rattle snake slithered across the road. My dad, being my dad, stopped the car alongside the road and with his camera followed the snake into the woods […]

February 21, 2021

Chosen

When it comes to our pets, let’s be honest: we chose them — they didn’t choose us. No, we chose them, and when we did so, we didn’t know whether they’d be affectionate or hostile, loyal or rebellious, intelligent or . . .  thick-headed. We didn’t know whether they’d respect our property or be a […]

April 5, 2020

When Every Day is Good Friday

I always feel conflicted about Palm Sunday. We go from celebrating the entry of Christ into Jerusalem to a week of thinking about Easter dinners, baked goods, and dyed eggs to Good Friday. I feel that “Good Friday” is always a bit of a misnomer. While Jesus’ resurrection can certainly be labeled “good,” there’s really […]

March 29, 2020

In the Valley of the Shadow

“Jesus wept.” Jesus wept. That’s it. “Jesus wept” is the verse that I’d blurt out when I was asked by my childhood Sunday school teachers to share scripture that I had memorized. A little smart-alecky, I know, a sad part of my checkered history. And to you children’s Sunday school teachers who are watching, all […]

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