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.
We cannot always control what we lose or gain in life's transitions, and even the happiest transitions (like getting married or becoming parents) can be jarring. I don't always get to choose how my name will be spelled or said. But sometimes, I get to choose how I will hear it.
IMAN has worked on providing critical services to Chicago's inner city communities, and has provided opportunities for Muslims to translate their faith into social justice work that benefits the community.
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.
The morally problematic passages in the Constitution have been overturned by various amendments and laws; similarly, one should not criticize contemporary religions on the basis of problematic passages within their sacred texts, if those passages have been rejected or nullified.
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.
Sometimes I avoid controversial movies until the brouhaha has died down, dried up and blown away like a tumbleweed in an old western. I like to watch those movies with a fresh eye, but with Noah, it turns out the fuss last Spring was actually much more entertaining than the film.
If North Korea can somewhat understandably raise a flag concerning what people might do after viewing The Interview, why are people not more concerned about the ideas put forth within the biblical stories?
Disappointment is inevitable when things don't go as we think they should. But outrage? We can do something about outrage. John's prologue invites us to another way. These verses do not deny disappointment. They respond to disappointment with testimony.
Most people are familiar with the story of the Ten Commandments. The short version is that God called Moses to Mount Sinai where he gave him two tablets of stone that contained the Ten Commandments.
Young tenor, Mingjie Lei, a product of the prestigious Curtis Opera Theatre, displayed the voice and confidence of the up and coming Bel-Canto tenor that he is. His tones were bright, without an edge, sort of a soothing balm to the ears.
In the Torah portion for this week (Vayigash), Joseph, having grown in power and influence in Egypt after his brothers left him for dead in the desert many years before, now reveals his true identity to his assembled siblings.
While every year is filled with its triumphs and its terrors, 2014 has been a year that has felt particularly fraught. It is not because this is a year where evil and terror appeared from nowhere, surprising us in our general euphoria or mundane lives.
Rabbi Katy Allen teaches that Hanukkah is a time to rededicate ourselves to the holy and hard work of responding to climate change. She writes that we "increase our holiness by rededicating ourselves to reducing our carbon footprint."
And King Herod's appearance in Matthew 2 explains the context of Jesus's arrival on earth. But these and many other central facts about the Bible's narrative escape the modern Bible reader.
It is helpful to think about common misconceptions that people have about the Bible so that we can read it better.