Sermon: Praying for Fire and Brimstone – Jonah 4

An interactive sermon where I invite people to take on different characters in the story: “Jonah means dove, a book that brings an olive branch of good news to all people, especially in dark times. This morning we sat in Nineveh’s chair. We sat in Jonah and Israel’s chair. We are invited to sit in God’s mercy seat, to feel God’s compassion. As followers of Jesus, we are called to carry that olive branch of peace, that message of hope and good news, no matter what the cost.”

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Sermon: Jonah…Journeying with a Man on a Journey – Jonah 1:1-16

I hope we can approach the story with curiosity and an open mind. In our reading of this book in the coming weeks, I hope that we don’t try to reduce Jonah to a pithy little nugget that we can put in our pocket. It’s polyvalent…it has many meanings; it’s a story that can journey with us, because it’s a story about a journey. A journey that involves storms and amazing creatures and amazing conversions in foreign lands. It’s a big picture story that points to God and the nature of creation. I hope you are as excited as I am to be taking flight with Jonah. What does a man named Dove have to tell us?

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Mercy and Love Responsive Prayer

Lord, you give us choices each and every day.
This week we have seen your path,
and turned away from it.
We have seen our brother or sister in need
and we did not turn to help.
Lord, have mercy.
We have said cruel or unkind words,
or refrained from saying helpful words
when they were needed.
Lord, have mercy.
We have been critical of those

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Good Samaritan Poem: On the Road to Jericho

We invested in goods to sell in the trade city of Jericho

and I walked the long journey with my loaded donkey.

I stopped that last night at an inn

poised on the edge of Jericho’s wilderness valley.

The neighbours at my table did not look promising;

holy men who carried scrolls not knives,

shabby companions on this last stretch

where you need someone who will stand firm beside you,

someone good for a fight.

That next morning I left the inn alone,

the dawn just crowning;

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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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