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On Scripture

Theological Track Standing: A User's Guide to Unity in Church and Society (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Jacob D. Myers | Posted 07.28.2015 | Religion
Jacob D. Myers

The central point Paul wishes to drive home is that Christians ought to be a people of hope. It is to hope that God has called us (1:15). This hope does not rest upon human effort or actualization; rather, it is according to God's infinite mercy (2:8-10).

American Disability Act: Working Toward Welcome and Dignity for All

Lisa Cataldo | Posted 07.22.2015 | Religion
Lisa Cataldo

The truth is that anyone who could be called "able-bodied" (or "able-minded") could at the next minute be not so. Our physical and mental abilities are extraordinarily fragile, and in every sense temporary.

When War Becomes a Way of Life (2 Samuel 11:1-15)

Raj Nadella | Posted 07.21.2015 | Religion
Raj Nadella

This week's text -- 2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- suggests that the phenomenon of ordinary people being asked to fight unnecessary wars initiated by people in power is not entirely modern

All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 07.13.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

A year punctuated with tragedies around racial inequalities culminated in a burst of hateful violence during a Wednesday evening Bible study at the Mother Emanuel church. And as these nine faithful souls have been laid to rest, I have been struck by a refrain that many of my friends have been voicing.

Freedom: For Everyone or Just People Like Us? (2 Corinthians 12:2-10)

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 06.29.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

What happens when God is the one who pricks our emotional equilibrium? What is humanity's recourse when the Creator is the source of our angst? More personally, it seems we are not as accommodating of individual views or approaches to the "Divine." Just as people come from multiple social locations and backgrounds, so are their religious traditions. However, respect for such faith diversity proves challenging.

Gay Marriage: A Christian Response

Barbara Kay Lundblad | Posted 06.26.2015 | Religion
Barbara Kay Lundblad

Can a faithful Christian support the court's decision? What can we say in response to questions voiced by some Christian people?

Changing the Conversation: Black Lives Do Matter (Mark 4:26-34)

Bridgett Green | Posted 06.08.2015 | Religion
Bridgett Green

How does a social movement begin? How does frustration meet courage and conviction to bring a people together to engage in transformative work? What seeds do we plant to change a nation?Social movements do not form out of thin air. They arise out of people's suffering.

Scandalous Leaders, Scandalous Power (1 Samuel 8)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 06.01.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

There's an odd thing about political scandals, these falls from grace: They are so common that they shouldn't shock us anymore. And yet these scandals sell newspapers, draw eyes on television. We can always muster some outrage at these all too common crimes.

Jean Vanier: A Prophet for the 21st Century (Isaiah 6:1-8)

Lisa Davison | Posted 05.26.2015 | Religion
Lisa Davison

With all that is happening in the world today, it can seem like there is no hope and everything is going down the tubes with no way to stop the flow. Human suffering and despair are present in all corners of the globe.

Death Penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: A Call for Radical Mercy

Shane Claiborne | Posted 05.19.2015 | Religion
Shane Claiborne

It's hard to have mercy for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It was Jesus who said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." And he certainly demonstrates that mercy on the cross as he forgives the people nailing him to it. But as a follower of Christ, mercy seems like an audacious thing to ask of us.

Sorry, Presidential Candidates: Hope Resides in Groans, Not in Your Rhetoric (Romans 8:22-27)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 05.18.2015 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

We rely on hope as a force to inch us forward. No one wants to believe that our best days as individuals or as societies are behind us. Everyone wants to be a hopeful person. Or, at least, there are plenty of people out there eager to make sure everyone feels hopeful.

Border Crossing: Astounding Hope in Laredo (Acts 10:44-48)

Mary F. Foskett | Posted 05.04.2015 | Religion
Mary F. Foskett

The Biblical story recounted in Acts 10:44-48 is also a story of transformation and relational border crossing between people who, though not at all strangers, were practiced at holding each other at a distance.

Preaching Reflections On Freddie Gray and Baltimore

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 06.29.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

Were I preaching this Sunday, I'd strongly consider preaching from Psalm 137. This Psalm features one of Scripture's most notorious lines: "a blessing on him who seizes your babies and dashes them against the rocks!"

Legislating Love in the 21st Century (Acts 8:26-40)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 06.27.2015 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

Imagine planning and preparing for your wedding for months, making decisions about guest lists, music, menus, seating charts, and attire. You go to the lone bakeshop in town to talk about your cake choices, only to be told that the baker is not willing to work with you.

Exhaling Judgment: A Personal Journey Toward Radical Welcome (John 10:11-18)

The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D. | Posted 06.20.2015 | Religion
The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D.

I had the sense, as a child, that God's goodness and mercy would only follow me all of the days of my life if I was "good" and Christian. And I had the sense that good and Christian was a narrow way.

More Than the Eye Can See (Acts 3:12-19)

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 06.13.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

There was nothing spectacular or dazzling about Peter or John. They were common, first-century fishermen turned disciples. Nonetheless, what they gave to a man lame from the womb was beyond value or measure.

Sell All Your Possessions! (Acts 4:32-35)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 06.06.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

Inequality is a relentless blight. The hopelessness too often engendered when a lack of resources aligns with insufficient educational access, the easy prejudice of one's neighbors, and the ubiquity of oppression is dehumanizing and crushing.

Indiana and the Freedom of the Gospel

Greg Carey | Posted 06.06.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

For Christians, the controversy raises a pressing question: Does religious liberty authorize Christians to exclude some fellow citizens from social goods because we disapprove of their behavior?

Daring to Hope in the Stress of Uncertainty (Mark 16:1-8)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 05.30.2015 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

Confidence and fear travel through our veins, compelling us, as they act out their odd, entangled relationship. We rarely have the luxury to see where our choices will lead us. We're swept along by others' choices and barely detectable forces.

Stories and Letters From Prison (Philippians 2: 5-11)

Barbara Kay Lundblad | Posted 05.23.2015 | Religion
Barbara Kay Lundblad

Perhaps we are looking for God in all the wrong places. In today's video, Sister Margaret goes to prison. She is not Jesus. She is not God. But she believes God is there in Ryker's Island, "home" to 1300 prisoners, half of them teenagers.

Ferguson and Forgiveness (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Walter Brueggemann | Posted 05.16.2015 | Religion
Walter Brueggemann

Lent is a time for honesty that may disrupt the illusion of well-being that is fostered by the advocates of indulgent privilege and strident exceptionalism that disregards the facts on the ground.

Immigration: Journey to a New Life (Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22)

Lisa Hickman | Posted 05.09.2015 | Religion
Lisa Hickman

I'm giving up giving up for Lent. My Lenten discipline is solely this: to look to the north, the south, the east and the west and to remember the despair of my neighbor and carry the weight of that load on my shoulders.

The Sacrifice of Covenant Relationship (Exodus 20:1-17)

Kimberly D. Russaw | Posted 05.02.2015 | Religion
Kimberly D. Russaw

On any given Saturday, people join Habitat for Humanity teams and commit to work to help eradicate poverty housing. The individual volunteers give of their time, energy and physical ability because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

From Generation to Generation (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16)

Rev. Adam J. Copeland | Posted 04.25.2015 | Religion
Rev. Adam J. Copeland

What would happen this Lent if we reflected not just personally but corporately? Quickly, we'd be pushed to consider how our use of the earth's resources will make life exceedingly difficult for future generations.

ISIS, American Sniper, and Rainbows (Genesis 9:8-17)

Greg Carey | Posted 04.19.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

Horrific as ISIS may be, it by no means stands outside the circle of humanity. It seems to have arisen and found nourishment out of countless factors, including the interventions of our own government. Violence has a way of pulling us all in. Somewhere the cycle has to end.