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On Scripture

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

Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles | Posted 07.21.2014 | 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 07.15.2014 | 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 07.01.2014 | 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 06.23.2014 | 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 06.30.2014 | 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 06.09.2014 | 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 06.02.2014 | 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 05.27.2014 | 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.

Seeing and Believing at Easter Time (John 20:1-18)

Greg Carey | Posted 06.15.2014 | Religion
Greg Carey

Easter Sunday marks the holiest, most exalted moment of the Christian year. In Easter services all over the world, trumpets and organs blast. Flowers transform churches with their brightness. Worship leaders boldly proclaim: 'Christ is risen!'

The Momentum of Freedom (Passover)

Ariel Mayse | Posted 06.14.2014 | Religion
Ariel Mayse

There are three stages in the ongoing process of redemption. The first is Egypt, a place -- physical or psychological -- of constriction and bondage. Freedom from this type of consciousness requires a radical thrust of energy that takes us forth from slavery.

Covering the Blood Before Us (Acharei Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30)

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz | Posted 06.08.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

He suggests that pagans would collect the blood after slaughter and eat the animal's meat while sitting around the blood; for Rambam, we pour out and cover the blood to distance ourselves from these pagan practices of using the blood to connect with spirits.

Palm-powered Protest (Matthew 21:1-11)

Rev. Adam J. Copeland | Posted 06.07.2014 | Religion
Rev. Adam J. Copeland

On Sunday, shouts of "Hosanna" will ring in city parks and street corners, in church courtyards and city squares. Pastors will shout in the crisp morning air as they read from the day's gospel passage Matthew 21:1-11.

Empathy Activism (Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33)

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz | Posted 06.01.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz

In our collective grief, we rabbis came together, raised more than half a million dollars and raised the profile of paltry funding for children's cancer research. Men and women alike. All rabbis. More than 80 of us. Now bald. Symbols of hope and grief, empathy and activism.

Rewrite Those Epitaphs

Lisa Hickman | Posted 05.31.2014 | Religion
Lisa Hickman

Reading through a list of bizarre and unique holidays is fascinating for any month. Looking at this list during Lent can provide new perspective. We know "April Fools Day" unfolds as March gives way to April.

Social Media and the Shepherd (Psalm 23)

Henry G. Brinton | Posted 05.24.2014 | Religion
Henry G. Brinton

One way to gain this peace and serenity is to unplug for a day or even for a season. Lent challenges us to turn away from the infinite audiences of the Internet and direct our hearts and minds to the one audience who always wants to be connected to us: God.

Learning to Live With Loss (Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

Sara Hurwitz | Posted 05.24.2014 | Religion
Sara Hurwitz

We cannot hide from reality forever. We cannot occupy the role of Yosef Ha-Kohen indefinitely. For some, the veil behind which they stand might be the law, but for others it could be any number of behaviors.

Why You Ought to Leave the Church (John 4:5-42)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 05.17.2014 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

Recently, a large wealthy church decided to break up with my denomination. I'm not 100% sure I know why. But the no-regrets explanation they wrote implied that religious differences between us were too severe for them.

Jewish Memory Week: A Tale in Three Parts (Zachor, Deuteronomy 25:17-19)

Yehuda Kurtzer | Posted 05.12.2014 | Religion
Yehuda Kurtzer

Purim is not one story of Jewish memory; it is the story of Jewish memory as a perpetually evolving, perpetually animating impulse. How brilliant is our tradition for giving us this Memory Week, with its multiple narrations of the same Amalek!