iOS app Android app

On Scripture

The Self-Righteous System and the Prophetic Task (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16)

Brennan Breed | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion
Brennan Breed

On December 8, an Orlando-area police officer shot Cedric Bartee, an African-American man, while he was unarmed and allegedly standing with his hands in the air. The sheriff asked the public to trust that the justice system will discover the "truth."

You Don't Want to Be a Prophet (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 12.09.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

When God calls you to some holy task, you might expect a contemplative path, a quiet life of service and love of neighbor. You might expect a comfortable life of piety and hopefulness, grace and caring. But true prophets know better.

Voices Crying Out: Comfort and Transformation in an Age of Mass Incarceration (Isaiah 40:1-11)

David G. Garber, Jr | Posted 12.01.2014 | Religion
David G. Garber, Jr

While we might look at that confession and question God's fairness, this probably came as a word of hope to the exiles. There is a sense of vindication in God's confession, and with that vindication, comes the confidence in a God who holds the power to make things right.

Release. Repair. Restore: Thoughts Beyond Ferguson Toward Racial Healing

The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D. | Posted 11.27.2014 | Religion
The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D.

Now is the time, and we are the ones, to release and liberate ourselves from bondage to racism, to repair what is broken in our nation, to restore peace born of justice in the streets.

It's Time Again: Depression and the Holidays (Isaiah 64:1-9)

Barbara Kay Lundblad | Posted 11.25.2014 | Religion
Barbara Kay Lundblad

The days from Thanksgiving to Christmas are a time of amplified loss and a time of amplified caring. Some congregations plan a "Blue Christmas" service to acknowledge feelings of loss, anxiety and depression. These honest, holy gatherings assure people they are not alone.

Jesus, Poor People and the Underside of Thanksgiving (Matthew 25: 31-46) by Billy Honor

Billy Honor | Posted 11.21.2014 | Religion
Billy Honor

I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, the fellowship, the friends and family, the football and did I mention that I love the food. Unashamedly it might very well be my favorite holiday. Yet, despite all my warm feelings about Thanksgiving, I am not blind to its historical shortcomings.

Should Christians Be Afraid of Ebola or Climate Change or ISIS or...? (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 11.14.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

Ebola, war, conflict, economic turmoil, political victories, political losses: This is the stuff of the nightly news. And everywhere we look we have a new villain to worry about, a new threat against which we ought to brace, a new sense of hopelessness.

Since We Have to Wait, We'd Better Get to Work (Matthew 25:1-13)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 11.05.2014 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

Together, these four parables in Matthew refuse to let us think that the Christian life equals passivity. Each parable commends readiness, whether that readiness involves actively caring for those in God's "house" or meeting the needs of people who suffer.

All Saints' Day: Facing Death (Matthew 5:1-12)

Greg Carey | Posted 10.27.2014 | Religion
Greg Carey

All Saints' Day usually recalls our communion with of our spiritual ancestors throughout the centuries, celebrating our unity with saints as far away as North Africa in the fourth century and as close as our deceased relatives. But All Saints' Day also reminds us of our bond with all believers.

Reformation Then and Now -- Dismantling Walls Today (Psalm 46)

Dirk G. Lange | Posted 10.20.2014 | Religion
Dirk G. Lange

Psalm 46 continually reminds us that the Reformation is not a celebration of identity but rather the deconstruction of walls, whether those walls be political, cultural, ethnic, economic or religious.

Whose Image Is Stamped On Your Heart? (Matthew 22:15-22)

Doug Mendenhall | Posted 12.13.2014 | Religion
Doug Mendenhall

As you ponder with your pure heart and reflect it with your true nature, note that Matthew 22 is an exceedingly rich chapter, and that before it is over Jesus will get in at least two more memorable quotes.

3 Reasons Why Apostle Paul Is the Crazy Uncle No One Wants to Talk About (and 2 Reasons Why We Need to Get Over That)

Pete Enns | Posted 12.06.2014 | Religion
Pete Enns

For many Christians--especially for conservative evangelicals--Paul's writings form the core teachings of their churches, from settling church squabbles to the centrality of the death and resurrection of Christ.

What's So 'Domestic' About Violence? (Philippians 4:1-9)

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 12.06.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

What intrigues me most is the nomenclature we use to describe this abuse. It is "intimate partner violence" or "domestic violence" or "victimization among peers." The terms themselves are ironic and oxymoronic.

What If the Earth Was God's Vineyard? (Matthew 21:33-46)

Shanell T. Smith | Posted 11.29.2014 | Religion
Shanell T. Smith

Dare to go there with me, if you will. What if we imagine God's vineyard as described in Matthew 21 to be this beautiful world we inhabit? What will happen if we reject it -- if we continue to treat it with disrespect, fail to listen to its natural woes, dismiss the warning signs it gives us?

In Compassion and Sympathy: A Christian Response to Religious Violence

Jacob D. Myers | Posted 11.25.2014 | Religion
Jacob D. Myers

Christ-followers are given another angle of vision, another mirror into our souls, in the person of Jesus Christ. No passage of Scripture points more acutely to this image than one of this week's lectionary texts: Philippians 2:1-13.

Why Work to Change the World? (Matthew 21:23-32)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 11.22.2014 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

People of faith may not agree about exactly how to go about our work to address these and other issues, but we usually share a sense of outrage, pain, or dismay. Those feelings could very well be our summons to go into the vineyard.

Blessing Those Who Have Cursed Us

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 11.15.2014 | 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 11.08.2014 | 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 11.02.2014 | 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 10.25.2014 | 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 10.18.2014 | 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 10.15.2014 | 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 10.14.2014 | 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 10.11.2014 | 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 10.04.2014 | 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.