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On Scripture

Blessing Those Who Have Cursed Us

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 09.15.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

It is certainly curious that we would decorate baby nurseries with images from the story of Noah's Ark. The smiling elephants in the comically tiny boat must always be blocking out the mass of humanity and animal life drowning under a seemingly never-ending deluge.

Foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)

Rev. Margaret Aymer, Ph. D. | Posted 09.08.2014 | Religion
Rev. Margaret Aymer, Ph. D.

Like the testimony of Jesus on the cross, the headlines about Gazan children, South American refugees, and the police killing of unarmed juveniles -- far too often African American male juveniles -- are dismissed as a foolish waste of our time.

A Strange Summer Vacation (Romans 13: 8 - 14)

Barbara Kay Lundblad | Posted 09.02.2014 | Religion
Barbara Kay Lundblad

'What did you do on your summer vacation?' Even now students may be answering that question in essays at the start of this new school year. No matter what you did or where you went this past summer, it was almost impossible to escape the heaviness of the headlines.

God Hears the Cries of #Ferguson: A Burning Bush and a World on Fire

Rev. Keith Anderson | Posted 08.25.2014 | Religion
Rev. Keith Anderson

Today, God hears the cries of those in Ferguson and all who are oppressed. As in the story of the burning bush, God sees, hears, and knows their pain. God also acts in the face of injustice and demands the end of oppression.

Sweaty Spirituality: Fighting Obesity With Paul (Romans 12:1-8)

Jacob D. Myers | Posted 08.27.2014 | Religion
Jacob D. Myers

Why aren't we in the church leading this charge? Ought not we who have received the grace of God to participate in God's restorative work live out our devotion to God by our healthy lifestyles?

Preaching Reflections on Michael Brown and Ferguson

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 08.18.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

The frustration and disbelief, rage and disappointment, resignation and passion I heard moved me. But even more convicting was the fact that so many others were simply unaware of this event at the moment and unfazed by its repercussions.

Divine-Human Partnership (Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25)

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 08.14.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg

It's hard to know which should make us more afraid: the notion that the human being or God is the absolute master of history. It is difficult to decide in the name of which of these attitudes more blood has been spilled, or which is more likely to destroy the world first.

Acknowledging Our Divine Positioning (Genesis 45:1-15)

Kimberly D. Russaw | Posted 08.12.2014 | Religion
Kimberly D. Russaw

Joseph's is a story of family strife, forgiveness, reconciliation, providence, provision and humility. After two encounters with their brother (who has assumed an Egyptian name and remained incognito), Joseph's brothers return to Egypt seeking pardon from the Pharaoh's vizier.

Our Dysfunctional Families (Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28)

Rev. David Lewicki | Posted 08.04.2014 | Religion
Rev. David Lewicki

Joseph wears his privilege too proudly. Oblivious to the fact that his older brothers despise him, he shares with them two vivid dreams. In each, the world revolves around Joseph -- the world bows down to serve him.

Could 'Loaves and Fishes' Change the Immigration Dilemma? (Matthew 14:13-21)

Verity A. Jones | Posted 07.29.2014 | Religion
Verity A. Jones

I am grateful for the religious leaders around the nation who are calling elected officials from towns and cities to our nation's capital to put on a different set of glasses and see something in this terrible situation other than scarcity.

More Than Conquerors: Romans 8:26-39 and Disability

Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles | Posted 09.20.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles

Gus, who overtly expresses room for belief in God, bites it at age 18, leaving his moribund girlfriend and freshly blind friend to mourn in the wake of his death. Is this what "all things working together for good" looks like from God's perspective?

Do You Know How to Two Step?

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 09.13.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

This "dancing" is a cognitive, spiritual and social dissonance enveloping and guiding our lives. Such a constant state of flux, although unsettling, provides ample lessons on recovery, repentance and resilience.

At War With Ourselves

Greg Carey | Posted 08.30.2014 | Religion
Greg Carey

Paul's examination of the conflicted self stands as one of the classic statements in Western culture. Borrowing from Jesus, we often say something similar: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Sacrificing Our Sons and Daughters (Genesis 22: 1-14)

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson | Posted 08.23.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson

Abraham -- the father of Jews, Christians and Muslims -- is heralded for his willingness to sacrifice, to give up his son, Isaac. After all, to love God so much to be willing to give back to God that which you have longed for, prayed for and cared for is no easy matter.

Slavery, Surrogacy and Society: Making a Future in the Wilderness

Anathea Portier-Young | Posted 08.16.2014 | Religion
Anathea Portier-Young

Unfortunately, slavery is hardly new. It is at the heart of Israel's founding story. The Exodus story showcases Israel's liberation from forced labor in Egypt. Hagar's story shows us slavery in a less visible form and closer to 'home.'

Developing a Moral Vision for Climate Change: Overview of the Planet

Ingrid Lilly | Posted 08.09.2014 | Religion
Ingrid Lilly

If we could zoom in on Genesis 1, perhaps we could extend its vision of the morality of the spatial: Sea is for fish and sky is for birds and coral reefs are for urchins. Deep sea trenches are for bioluminescent fish. Arctic ice sheets are for polar bears.

The First Multi-Media Blowup Moment (Acts 2:1-21)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 08.02.2014 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

We hear loud voices coming through social media outlets. We hear the noise. At times, it is almost deafening. The voices seem to fly past each other so fast that neither side seems to be listening to the other at all.

Christian Suffering in a World of Suffering

David A. Sánchez, Ph.D. | Posted 07.27.2014 | Religion
David A. Sánchez, Ph.D.

Here I write pondering the exaltation of suffering in Christian scripture as a sign of future heavenly exaltation. What do I say to sufferers of other faith traditions? My suffering, our Christian suffering, is privileged?

Stand by Me: Memorial Day and the Healing of Souls

Mary Hinkle Shore | Posted 07.19.2014 | Religion
Mary Hinkle Shore

Jesus loses his life, and he is not the only one to suffer loss. Those he leaves behind lose him, and without him, they lose whatever security they might have felt in the world. After his death, they take refuge by hiding.

Heaven Is a Home (John 14:1-14)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 07.12.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

There is an invitation here to the believer. The one who follows Jesus will follow in his paths of love and compassion, grace and hope. The one who follows Jesus will even "do greater works" than those Jesus accomplished.

How to Love Like a Mother (John 10:1-10)

Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard | Posted 07.05.2014 | Religion
Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard

And they became known, those early followers of Jesus, for their generosity, for the way they cared for the very least and the lost and for the common good. They became known for their love. They became the Beloved Community.

Blessing Our Counting (Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld | Posted 06.30.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Every day, from the second night of Passover to the festival of Shavuot, we literally count our days. The period is known as the Omer, originally rooted in the agricultural rhythms of ancient Israel, a time of both anxiety and anticipation.

Go Ahead and Die Already (Luke 24:13-35)

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 06.28.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

We appreciate life, but we are seduced at the intricacies and unknowns of death. While there is much enjoyment and celebration over health, personal accomplishments, births and birthdays, people the world ponder the 'what ifs' concerning the end of life.

How to Love Your Neighbor (Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27)

Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin | Posted 06.22.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin

The Rabbis taught that, while each verse offers wisdom on its own, we should also understand each verse as being in conversation with those surrounding it. Following this tradition, I wondered what these instructions about tochacha and not bearing another's sin teach us.

Reorienting Ourselves to the Earth (Acts 2:14a, 22-32)

Raj Nadella | Posted 06.21.2014 | Religion
Raj Nadella

The text is simultaneously a warning about the fast approaching day of doom and an assurance about a possible day of salvation (Acts 4:21). Such day of salvation, however, is contingent upon people calling on the name of the Lord.