Coming to the City Nearest You

Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you.
Jesus comes to the gate, to the synagogue,
to houses prepared for wedding parties,
to the pools where people wait to be healed,
to the temple where lambs are sold,
to gardens, beautiful in the moonlight. 
He comes to the governor’s palace.

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The Lowly Way: Good Friday Confession

Jesus, you loved us in the beginning
and you loved us to the end.
Even on the night you were betrayed,
you took a towel, and washed our feet.
We confess that we are reluctant to think of you
doing such a humble task, least of all for us.
Like Peter, we protest.

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Sermon: Jesus Saves–An Introduction – Mark 8:27-37, Psalm 27

We are starting a sermon series where we will try to unpack how Jesus saves us. We are a Christian church, we come here and read stories about Jesus, we pray to Jesus, we sing songs of praise to Jesus…what does this mean? Particularly as we head into the Good Friday and Easter season, we wonder, what did Jesus’ death on the cross have to do with it? How does Jesus save us? How might Jesus save us?

There are as many ways to talk about being saved as there are Christians, but theologians have observed that our thinking falls into certain categories. There are word pictures or metaphors we use to describe the mystery of how God saves us, many of which are drawn from scripture. Certain metaphors have tended to be popular in certain denominations or in certain time periods.

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Sermon: Bartimaeus–the Faithful One who Sees – Mark 10:35-52, Joshua 6:20

Bartimaeus turns out to be a prophet. He was the first one to say publicly that Jesus was the son of David.  And now he will witness the son of David suffering and dying on a cross. Jesus healed many people, there are many stories of healing. But Bartimaeus is the only healed person who is named; it’s the last healing that Jesus performs. There are different characters and groups in the story.  Bartimaeus, Jesus, the crowd.  Who do you identify with in this story?

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Sermon: Come and See! What are we expecting from Jesus? – John 1:35-42, Psalm 66:1-5

What about you?  What are you looking for?   I tell you, my brothers and sisters, that the only thing worth looking for is Jesus. You can get caught up in looking for a nicer building, or a more full building, or younger people in the building, or better music in the building, but if we spend our time looking for that, we might miss something essential. What we are looking for is Jesus. We are looking to see the power of God working in this community, through us in this city and this world.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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