Prayer for Syria

Holy One, Today, our hearts break for the people of Syria, and we fear for the state of our world. Assad tortures and kills his own people, desperately grasping at power with weapons, threats, force. Some Syrians join extremist groups, hoping guns and bombs will lead them to freedom and peace. Many Syrians flee. They…

Reflection on Psalm 131

[This is an excerpt from my sermon for March 22, 2015. You can read the full sermon text here.] I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me. “I have calmed and quieted my soul.” This calm, this stillness,…

Not by Might

As I read through Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 this week, I couldn’t help but notice that parallelism is everywhere: “My heart exults in the Lord; / my strength is exalted in my God.” “Talk no more so very proudly, / let not arrogance come from your mouth;” “The bows of the mighty are…

2 Kings 6:8-23 Sermon Snippet

[This is from a sermon preached at Peace Mennonite Church on August 4, 2013. See this page for the full sermon text.] In many ways, this odd little fable-story from 2 Kings reveals the folly of our attempts at national security. But in the end, Israel does achieve security. Elisha will not let the King…

Reflecting on Genesis 26

So I haven’t been posting on the blog much. I’ve been caring for people and planning for church conferences and driving to swim lessons and trying to buy a house. (I hope to have exciting news to share soon!) Oh yeah, I’ve also been writing sermons. (Because, if you will recall, I have the best…

We Will Not Fear?

(Below is an excerpt from last Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 46. You can find the full sermon here.) According to the psalmist, God’s presence with us now, our knowledge of God’s presence with God’s people–Jacob and others–in the past–this means that we do not need to be afraid. The psalm opens with these words of…