Sermon Archives

July 12, 2020


You know what I love about Berkey’s community garden project? It’s simplicity. Think about it: All we’re doing is making space out back, offering our soil, giving our dirt, for people to grow some vegetables. That’s it. And the thing is, we can’t really pat ourselves on the back about that, at least not too […]

August 18, 2019

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 […]

December 4, 2016

“What kind of leaders do you want?”

“Make America great again.”  We have heard this phrase over and over again for the last year.  Who wouldn’t like to see America be great?  But what are we hoping for when we want “greatness”?  Power?  Wealth?  Security?  Privilege?   And what would we hope for if we said “Make Goshen great again”?  Or if we […]

July 27, 2014

A Time for Everything

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes is an unusual book of the Bible. It covers everything in life with bluntness, humor, and questioning. If you are an individual of doubt, then you could read this book. Here is some background information from the NRSV Harper Collins Study Bible (c1989, 986-988).  Ecclesiastes stems from the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew […]

March 30, 2014


During my first year at Chicago Theological Seminary, I lived in one of the seminary’s dormitories. One afternoon at 5:00 I left my dorm room and walked down to the dormitory kitchen, located in the basement. This kitchen served all the students who lived in that dorm. We each had our own cupboard and cooked […]

March 9, 2014

Jesus’ Temptations—and Ours

For many of us this story is extremely familiar. We hear it nearly every year in our Lenten worship services because Matthew, Mark, and Luke each tell a version of this story. We call it “the temptations of Jesus,” though I’m not sure how tempting Jesus actually found Satan’s three offers. I don’t know about […]

December 22, 2013

Dreaming and Trusting with Joseph

Picture the conversation between Mary and Joseph. Mary says, “Joseph, we need to talk.” And Joseph might then be thinking, “Now what have I done?!” When she says, “I’m pregnant,” he knows that in fact, he hasn’t done anything, and in this case, that is the problem. Because if he isn’t the father, then who […]

December 8, 2013

Of Kings and Justice

The kings of Israel and Judah were such disappointments. Take Solomon, for example. He started out well enough early in his reign. Remember the time when as a newly crowned king he prayed to Yahweh for “an understanding mind to govern your people,” a mind “able to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:3-14)? […]

October 27, 2013

The Prayer God Wants

I continue to be a Christian partly because Jesus is such a keen observer of the human heart. Even after more than 40 years of trying to follow Jesus, I continue to learn from Jesus insights into myself and others that I probably wouldn’t get anywhere else. He and the Bible offer a vast storehouse […]

January 6, 2013

Defending the Poor

I don’t know how it is for you, but sometimes when I read the Bible I get tired of all its talk about justice, righteousness, and peace. Throughout the English Bible, the word “justice” pops up 147 times, the word “righteousness” 241 times, and the word “peace” 256 times. Usually these three words appear in […]