The Refugees Who Came for Thanksgiving

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the autumnal harvest time’s spiritual significance. As a time of connectedness, I pause to acknowledge what I have to be thankful for. But I also reflect on the holiday as a time of remembrance – present and historical. Presently, I hope over this holiday [Read More...]

Rethinking Thanksgiving in an Age of Terror: Creating Interfaith Traditions


by Glenn Zuber As we move into renewed period of terrorist fear and personal anxiety, how can U.S. Christians and their congregations respond with hope and solidarity during Thanksgiving? Most Americans, Christians included, value the Thanksgiving holiday as a respite from the real world and a chance to deepen relationships with family. Young adults away [Read More...]

Christ is the Refugee: A Christmas Hymn


This Christmas season, Christians across Europe and the United States will sing carols in praise of a refugee child, carols that extol the virtues of hospitality to the stranger. We will weep over the “slaughter of the innocents” story and imagine with sentimental poignancy the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt to escape Herod’s [Read More...]

Syrian Refugees as Modern Day Lepers


Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him and threw themselves at his feet, begging Jesus to “have pity on us.” If you were the leader of a religious movement with political change in mind and on your way to the capital city, as was Jesus and [Read More...]

Have a Green Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love it because it calls us to remember the bounty of nature, and the debt of gratitude we owe to those first settlers and the native people of this continent. What’s more, the ritual of Thanksgiving is so simple that everyone can take part – sharing good [Read More...]

Put the Refugee Jesus Back into Christmas


by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Following the news that one of the Paris attackers was carrying a Syrian passport, 24 US governors asked the federal government to cease welcoming refugees from Syria this week. Though he had told the Carolina Journal on Friday that he was satisfied with security screening for [Read More...]

Dear America, Let’s Stop Being So Afraid


Dear U.S., Things are pretty tough right now, we know that and I get that. We’ve still got a rather uncertain job market and the stocks are all over the place. There are plenty of concerns about health care, the state of public education, and questions about how we will pay for college (or the [Read More...]

Making the Grade: Considering Religious Tests and Syrian Refugees


Perhaps you have heard the suggestion that America should consider admitting at least some of the Syrian refugees? Yep. It’s a real thing. There is a chance for this whole debate to be over and done with. There has been a path suggested for entrance to this land of freedom and hospitality for those fleeing the [Read More...]

Waiting with Anticipation: The Blessing of Advent


Maybe waiting is the best part of the holiday season. [Read more...]

Paris vs. Beirut: When “Why” Is Not Rhetorical


Sometimes, I know, “Why?” is a rhetorical question. Like “How long?” the question “Why?” is a favorite in the psalms: “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1). Sometimes we don’t expect or even want an answer to the question. Sometimes “Why?” is just [Read More...]

Finding Faith to Face Fear: A Place Where Terror Has No Dominion


This is what war looks like in the 21st century: The enemy is not confined to some particular country that we can attack. The enemy does not necessarily form an army that we can engage at a border. We cannot round them up. We cannot sever their lines of communication. They seem to be able [Read More...]

Dear Professor: Is This Class Going to Challenge My Faith and Make Me Uncomfortable?


I had a student write me after the very first meeting of my Bible and Western Civilization I class, which I’m teaching this semester at the University of Houston. While I won’t reproduce the email here, the very condensed version of it went a little like this: “I’m very Christian, I like the Bible, I [Read More...]