Text: Jonah chapters 3 and 4  

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.

The first time the word of the Lord came to Jonah it said, “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.”  Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria, the empire that ravaged the northern kingdom of Israel, Jonah’s home.  They were ruthless, cutthroat, and showed no mercy to captive peoples.  They were Israel’s bitter enemy.

When Jonah is first commanded to go at once and preach to them, he does go at once, in the opposite direction.  Rather than head east, toward Nineveh, he boards the first ship he can find heading west, to Tarshish.  If Jonah lived in Columbus and was commanded to go preach in Washington, DC, he would have jumped on the next flight to LA.

This does not work out well for Jonah, or his ship mates.  A storm arises, and their ship experiences heavy turbulence.  Jonah takes the blame for the storm.  They throw him overboard.  The sea goes calm, and peace is restored.  Except for Jonah, who is sinking like a stone.  But the...

"Where do we go from here?"

Speaker: Kyle Kerley

Text: 1 John 3:11-18

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. And we ought to lay down our lives for our family. If anyone has material possessions and see someone in  need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Let us NOT love with words, but with actions.

My name is Kyle Kerley. I’m honored that Joel asked me to speak today. There’s plenty of you that I don’t know, so I figured the reverse is also true - that some of you don’t know who I am - and I’ll start with an introduction. 

1) I am a nurse at a free clinic - very interested in the collisions of health and wealth and for that matter poverty and sickness. I’m also not too terribly interested in diagnosing a president so much as I am diagnosing a society that produced such a president.
2) I am a follower of Jesus - and where that meaning of that phrase is sometimes illusive, I am continually haunted by his name and his message.

Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,[a]
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.



The Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season starts in darkness and ends in light.  This follows the cycle of the natural world in the northern hemisphere.

It’s in the darkness that...

Luke 2:22-40
Isaiah 61:11 - 62:3

It has finally happened.  I have finally reached the magical ministry milestone that has been four years in the making.  Some of  you might not realize that the lectionary, which is a cycle of readings assigned to every Sunday and other Holy Days throughout the year used by congregations across the world, is a three year cycle.  Thus, now that I am in my fourth year of ministry here at Columbus Mennonite, that cycle has finally started to repeat itself.   

For pastors who preach regularly from the lectionary, this fourth year milestone can be a big deal.  I’m not saying sermons get reused word for word, but being able to read old sermons can be a big help.  All the study that went into understanding the texts and digging into word meanings and doing the hard work of exegeting a passage can certainly be borrowed these three, six, nine years later.  There will always be more to learn, but with texts that are thousands of years old, surely some of that work can be reused.

Since I only preach about every other month, the chances that I would be preaching on a Sunday...

Reading: Luke 1:26-38

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your...