Differentiate: The Sermon We Should Be Known For

Differentiate: The Sermon We Should Be Known For

American fitness instructor Richard Simmons once said, “When you gather up all the balls of life that you try to juggle, it is a very difficult thing to try to focus in on taking good care of yourself. But that’s why God invented me – so I can come and teach and preach and make people laugh and give them some education so they can start liking themselves better.” Richard Simmons was always a spirited and unique individual on television and throughout his many fitness videos. It’s true he was a jester, by his own confession, but you always knew who he was and what he was about. I am sure all of us associate him in our minds with teaching and preaching fitness. That is exactly who Richard Simmons was, and what he was known for – it differentiated him. In many, ways it was the best and only sermon he preached.

On Sunday mornings at East Petersburg Mennonite Church, we are studying perhaps the sermon Jesus is most known for. Jesus is famous for his sermon on the mount, which is really a collection of mini-teachings. Regardless if you were raised in the church or not, I am sure you know that Jesus taught some pretty big truths about loving your enemies, not practicing revenge, and caring for the poor. It’s these teachings, and many others, that make up perhaps the sermon Jesus is best known for, this sermon on the mount. It is this sermon that differentiates Jesus from any other religious figure.

Not only do these teachings differentiate Jesus, but they are also the very things that he expects to differentiate his followers in the world. This sermon, should be the sermon we are known for.

Each Sunday, East Petersburg Mennonite Church has been studying through a series of these mini-teachings from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. We have called our series, Differentiate. It has been a very fun journey and has created many interesting conversations. Differentiate is our seven-week study through a collection of Jesus’ teachings found in the Book of Matthew; that challenge, remind and equip us to live a differentiated way in our neighborhoods and spheres of influence.

I invite you to explore this series below. It is a sermon I want to be known for – like Richard Simmons was known for fitness.

In this first week of our Differentiate series, we looked at Jesus’ teaching on Oaths from  Matthew 5:33-37.


In this second week of our Differentiate series, we looked at Jesus’ teaching on Revenge (Eye for an Eye) from Matthew 5:38-42.


In this third week of our Differentiate series, we looked at Jesus’ teaching on Love your Enemies from Matthew 5:43-48.

About East Petersburg Mennonite Church

East Petersburg Mennonite Church is a community that is learning to live and love like Jesus in East Petersburg, PA. We gather on Sunday Mornings at 10:00 a.m. to worship God, to celebrate in community, and to be equipped for God’s mission in the world. You can find us at 6279 Main Street in East Petersburg, PA.

Our life as a church community is shaped by three values; worship, community, and mission. We value worship by continually focusing on and surrendering to God’s character which transforms our individual lives and relationships. We value community as an extended family of Jesus’ followers celebrating together, encouraging each other, and investing in the lives of others. We value mission while being led by the Holy Spirit, we demonstrate the goodness of God’s love, peace, and healing to our neighbors.

Our story began in 1720 when some neighbors first found themselves gathering together. Ever since then, we have been intertwined with the neighborhoods of East Petersburg. We love being part of this town.

As a church, we are affiliated with a network of churches known as the Lancaster Mennonite Conference.

We gather on Sunday Mornings to worship God, to celebrate in community, and to be equipped for God’s mission in the world. You are invited to join us this Sunday!

On Sundays, we gather at 9:00 a.m for Sunday School. This is a time where we connect with smaller groups for collaboration, community, and conversation. At 10:00 a.m. we all gather for our Main Worship Gathering to worship, celebrate community and be equipped for mission.

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