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On Scripture

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 04.29.2015 | 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 04.27.2015 | 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 04.20.2015 | 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 04.13.2015 | 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 04.06.2015 | 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 04.06.2015 | 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 03.30.2015 | 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.

Forsaking the 'Whiteness' of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9)

Rev. Keith Anderson | Posted 04.11.2015 | Religion
Rev. Keith Anderson

In a time when renewed engagement is desperately needed, it is difficult to have dialogue when a vast majority of whites cannot empathize with the experience of communities of color, or, in some cases, acknowledge that there is a problem at all.

Learning From the Friendly Outsider (Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23)

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 04.07.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

What I have to say next applies to both Jews and Muslims; I say it to both. You live inside a bigger world. Not everyone is your enemy. There are plenty of Midianites out there, outsiders to your particularity, who wish you well.

Gatekeepers of Redemption: Conservative Evangelicals on the Death Penalty (1 Corinthians 9:16-23)

Shanell T. Smith | Posted 04.04.2015 | Religion
Shanell T. Smith

'Gatekeepers of redemption' -- that is what I call them -- are the decision makers in capital punishment. Yet as I think about the death penalty movement and the shift that seems to be occurring within it, I am beginning to see an inkling of hope.

The Super Bowl and the Church in a Culture of Dominance (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 03.28.2015 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

Americans enjoy football because football reflects the values of strength, courage, strategy, self-discipline, teamwork, and celebrity that American culture holds dear. It's also refreshing to watch someone else get crushed by a 260-pound linebacker after you've had a lousy week at work.

Free Speech, Big Fish, and Calls From God (Jonah 3: 1-5, 10)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 03.22.2015 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

I am not Charlie Hebdo. I know that I am not Charlie. I do not think that I would ever intentionally make fun of a faith tradition or belief system, except maybe my own. But, dangit, I will defend their right to do so.

Maybe God's Trying to Tell You Something (1 Samuel 3:1-20)

Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. | Posted 03.14.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.

In trying times, it is important to listen for the lesson and hear the voice of God within it. The task for those of us who are attracted to such thoughts is not to see God in our stories but to imagine our story in God's, learning somehow to see our humanity in divinity.

In the Beginning and in the End: Christians and Climate Change (Genesis 1:1-5)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 03.07.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

The threat of climate change and the pollution of our natural resources is a theological problem. In our efforts to enhance our comfort and ease our work, we have mistaken what is good with what is merely advantageous for a narrowly circumscribed us.

Other Stories, Others' Stories (Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28 - 50:26)

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer | Posted 03.04.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer

This November, I attended the first annual conference of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. Afterwards, I posted on my Facebook page a picture of 100 Jewish and Muslim women--old and young; bareheaded, hijabi, and a few in yarmulkes.