When Trauma Victims Teach Us About Hope (John 11:1-45)

By Rev. Dr. Storm SwainAs we enter into John’s Gospel, we are standing some way off from the tomb. The air of grief is all around. The family has returned home to a place that looks the same but is empty because their loved one is gone. People are gathered around to grieve, support, console and to say Kaddish. And into this Jesus walks.Not as early as anybody would have wanted. Not early enough to stop the death that has happened. Not early enough to be with those he loved as they d … [Read more...]

Vulnerability: The Gift Not Fully Valued (John 9:1-41)

By Amy Julia Becker“Disability is a magnifying glass that shows us our humanity.”My husband spoke these words eleven years ago, when our daughter Penny was a few months old. Penny had been diagnosed with Down syndrome a few hours after her birth, and the months that followed were hard for us. She had a few little holes in her heart. She needed tubes in her ears. She needed early intervention services. Her future seemed uncertain. She also slept through the night at seven weeks, lavished s … [Read more...]

The Nasty Woman Who Persisted: The Samaritan Woman of John 4 (John 4:5-42)

The Nasty Woman Who Persisted: The Samaritan Woman of John 4 (John 4:5-42) By Jaime Clark-Soles• (Now President) Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman.” • Mitch McConnell silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren, using his voice to proclaim: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted” giving strong women everywhere a new mantra. • The Women’s March(es). • International Women’s Day with its theme: #BeBoldForChange • Former Texas Senator Wendy Davis, … [Read more...]

A Holy Visitation (Matthew 17:1-9, John 3:1-17)

By Rev. Cassandra A. HendersonIt almost seems contrary to consider the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-9 as part of the journey in Lent. How does God’s breaking through time to reveal the prophets of old, Moses and Elijah connect to the solitude of Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness? How does the glow of shining light through the one declared the very light of the world in the presence of his disciples James, John and Peter speak to 40 days of sacred suffering and self-inflicted de … [Read more...]

It’s Been 40 Days: How to Resist the Temptation of Injustice and Intolerance

By Karyn L WisemanI keep seeing listicles pop up on my Facebook feed. 40 Best Movies of all Time. 40 most underrated actors. 40 best hip-hop moments in history. 40 things that make everyone smile. 40 little known facts about Friends. Listicles of the 40 most, best, or worst whatever … it goes on and on. You click on the link and then get to click through page after page of these crazy listicles. They drive me insane and there is always another “NEXT” button to click. And why is it so often 40 … [Read more...]

A God of Second Chances (2 Peter 1:16-21)

A God of Second Chances (2 Peter 1:16-21) By Melissa BrowningMy five-year-old, Olivia, lives in a world where all that she imagines is fiercely real. She walks through life with an entourage of imaginary friends, all busy participants in the universe she has created. The situations she conjures up are colorful and complex. On more than one occasion, I have been asked to mediate imaginary disputes or attend birthday parties for characters that I cannot see. Among the entourage of the … [Read more...]