To arm ourselves to the teeth and make self-protection our greatest value makes it harder to love, at least to love those most different from us. The result could be our inability to be swept into the breadth and fullness of love residing in the heart of God.
For many, America's "pool of promise" -- higher education -- is turning into a sinkhole of debt. What would it look like for students to take hold of the injustice of the university and financial system, to claim it even as they rise above it?
Jesus confronts Peter with the moral injury of the past. Through a ritual reenactment of that scene, Jesus walks Peter through his past and ushers him into a brand new future. Somehow healing begins, and new life bursts forth. May it be so with all who suffer moral injury.
When I read the lectionary passage from the Gospel of John for this week, I scratched my head. This week's text is the third of the "bread passages" in our lectionary cycle. There is a lot of bread this summer. And it's about now that many preachers and congregants start asking, "Bread, again?"
The would-be prophet cowers before the throne and whimpers, "Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips." No posturing. No preachiness. No self-righteousness.
Sin is not about breaking rules. Rather, it is resistance to the creative power of God. Those who thought that they were on the side of God are revealed to be profoundly wrong. We might even call them hypocrites.
Thomas is not to blame for this label. He made a reasonable statement in an unreasonable, once-in-a-lifetime resurrection situation. What's fascinating is how comfortable we are in letting Thomas be so trapped.
For some Christians, the radical accessibility of God in all arenas of life is consistent with an expectation that politicians wear religious commitments on their sleeves. For others, membership in a pluralistic society demands more humility and tolerance.