Preaching Reflections on Michael Brown and Ferguson

In light of this week's events in Ferguson, Missouri, several of our ON Scripture writers took a few moments to reflect upon what they would/will be preaching on this Sunday. To continue the conversation, join us on Twitter at #onscripture.Eric D. Barreto Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary The last thing a preacher wants to do on a Saturday night is to log into Facebook.I exaggerate, of course, but I found myself scrambling last week when I learned of Michael … [Read more...]

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

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By Anne Sutherland HowardHow one mother who lost a child to gun violence tried to make the world safer for others.In my Santa Barbara, California neighborhood, which we sometimes call “Leave it to Beaver Land” for its seeming serenity and peace, a new practice has become evident. Children no longer walk alone to our neighborhood elementary school. Every morning, a parade of mothers and fathers accompany their children the short distance to school, dogs in tow and cellphones in hand. I … [Read more...]

The Ballad of Sour Grapes

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By Greg CuéllarMany of life’s memorable moments can be brought to mind just by hearing a favorite song.  Consider Sam Cooke’s protest song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and the ways it evokes the civil rights crisis of the early 1960’s, or John Lennon’s song of peace, “Imagine,” which has as a point of reference the Vietnam War. These and many other songs not only encapsulate moments of the human experience but also give voice to a social critique.Attuned to Social CrisisSpeaking to po … [Read more...]

The Social Shape of Divine Generosity (Luke 12:32-40)

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By Greg CareyIt all sounds so… demanding. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. “Be dressed for action” (NRSV). Imagine yourselves as slaves who remain ready for their master’s return – not knowing when it might come.Luke’s Gospel is big on demanding. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus encounters three would-be disciples. Each receives a warning that would vanquish enthusiasm like an ice-cold shower. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay h … [Read more...]

Colossians 3:1-11: It’s the Name on the Front of the Jersey that Matters

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By David A. Sánchez I have always loved baseball. Growing up on the mean streets of East Los Angeles, baseball was the one activity that kept me away from the pitfalls many young Latino males face on a daily basis. Summer days were spent—sunrise to sunset—in makeshift sandlots in the shadows of Dodger Stadium, fielding bad-hop grounders and striping screaming line drives. It was our neighborhood pastime.On the occasion when enough coins were scraped up to venture into the venerable cath … [Read more...]

The Power of Prayer . . . at the Kmart

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By Rev. Susan Sparks When I want to remind myself of the power of prayer, I go to the Astor Place Kmart on the lower east side of Manhattan. Sure, I could read Kierkegaard or Augustine, but I prefer the Kmart. Specifically I favor an area in the far back corner of the basement. It is devoid of windows or natural light with a back wall of clear glass that faces the dungeon-like dark tunnel of the Number 6 subway train. There, you will find the most unexpected of things -- a plant … [Read more...]


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