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Scripture

Towards an Ethic of Trust (Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz | Posted 07.02.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the emotions of a moment, in our reflexive reactions to another person's behavior, that we forget the relationship we have with them. We become suspicious and angry, and then spin into a cycle of recrimination and mistrust.

Biblical Marriage, Brooms and Faux Rage

Alisha L. Gordon | Posted 06.26.2015 | Religion
Alisha L. Gordon

Funny enough, those who are often in positions of power that have directed this sail of "one man, one woman biblical standard" don't stay true to their own vows, making this Scripture that they hold in such high regard the laughing stock outside the microcosm of Christianity.

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.

Changing the Rules of the Game (Parshat B'ha'alot'kha, Numbers 8:1-12:16)

Stephen Hazan Arnoff | Posted 06.04.2015 | Religion
Stephen Hazan Arnoff

When the game is being played between people and the Divine, a little room for changes in the rules can be a good thing, even a necessary one. Adjustments in the heat of battle are an important part of the story of this week's Torah portion, B'ha'alot'kha.

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.

Revelation, the Morning After (Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89)

Rabbi Adina Allen | Posted 05.29.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Adina Allen

As we recently marked the holiday of Shavuot, many of us in the wee hours between darkness and dawn marked our receiving of Torah on Mount Sinai by studying Torah all night. After 49 days of counting, we have finally reached the apex of the journey we began then.

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.

Our Greatest Celebration of Life

Catherine Nagle | Posted 05.22.2015 | Religion
Catherine Nagle

In due time, we're sure to find that our compassion, love, and attentiveness to those crises and responsibilities were the most powerful actions that brought us out of those storms for our greatest celebration that empowers us for the rest of our lives!

Sound and Silence (Parshat B'midbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20, Shavuot, May 23-25)

Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein | Posted 05.21.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein

Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates the gift of Torah, begins on Saturday night. The Torah itself describes this occasion as being accompanied by dramatic and terrifying noise and spectacle: thunder, long shofar blasts, earthquake, fire and smoke.

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.

Torah Gone Wild (Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34)

Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Posted 05.13.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Minna Bromberg

The Torah is very clear that the punishment for not allowing the land to rest every seventh year is exile. In other words, we can either give the land her sabbaths while we dwell here, or she will simply take them when we are long gone. Wildness will out.

Religion, Catechism, and Parables

Catherine Nagle | Posted 05.11.2015 | Religion
Catherine Nagle

Catechism classes were part of the Catholic education I received. But regardless of how much we know about religion, isn't it the same truth that we all come to sooner or later?

A Priesthood of the Imperfect (Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 05.06.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

What we need now is a priesthood of the imperfect -- in which all of us who are "disqualified" in one way or another (which is to say, I'd venture, all of us) accept and embrace our imperfections, learning from one another and teaching one another what we have learned in the course of our lives.

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.

Walking Through Cloud (Parshat Acharei Mot/Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27)

Erica Brown | Posted 06.30.2015 | Religion
Erica Brown

When Moses finished the work, the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it and the presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.

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.

Leprosy's Haunting Relevance (Parshat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33)

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 06.20.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg

Even after we are healed, the experience of serious illness seriously transforms us, and the Torah's seemingly arcane rituals serve as a timeless reminder of the steps on that transforming journey.

Revisiting the Holy and the Ordinary (Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer | Posted 06.15.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer

This week's Torah portion includes, in the words of anthropologist Mary Douglas, a "hoary old puzzle from biblical scholarship." As Douglas put it, "Why should some locusts, but not all, be unclean?

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.

Getting Unstuck (Second Shabbat of Passover, April 11, 2015)

Rabbi David Jaffe | Posted 06.07.2015 | Religion
Rabbi David Jaffe

Passover is the holiday of getting unstuck. The Israelites lived in slavery for hundreds of years in Egypt, completed dominated by Pharoah and his regime. But the message of the biblical Exodus is that what is, now, does not have to be what is in the future.

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?