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

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By Greg Carey.  Bishop Kevin Farrell comments on giving shelter to potential Ebola victims. “Administration officials have repeatedly assured Americans that they were prepared for Ebola. Less than two weeks ago here at the White House, they insisted they knew how to stop this virus in its tracks. But so far, the virus appears to be outrunning the government."So began Scott Horsley’s report from the White House, one of three separate stories NPR’s news show All Things Considered devote … [Read more...]

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

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By Dirk G. Lange.  November 9, 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Just over fifty-three years ago, a huge wall was built, a mighty fortress—a wall around East Berlin, a wall to keep out and a wall to keep in. This wall isolated people and forcefully molded them into a single, straight, dreary one-dimensional way of living. The wall represented an oppressive system without cracks, without breaks, without life. Almost 500 years ago, a monk by the name of Ma … [Read more...]

Whose Image is Stamped on Your Heart? (Matthew 22:15-22)

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By Doug Mendenhall.  People talk about how they give to those in need. Two decades ago, when we were both young and dangerous, one of the first jobs my wife held was as a collections officer for the Internal Revenue Service. For several years, she was sent to pry Uncle Sam’s due from tax dodgers and protesters in rural Appalachia. They may have grumbled, but it turned out not to be a fair match; she gave no quarter and usually came back with the dollars. Looking back, it sticks with me th … [Read more...]

What’s So “Domestic” About Violence? (Philippians 4:1-9)

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By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder.People share their opinions and experiences about a growing concern—bullying.  I carry a purple purse. I actually bought it three years ago to treat myself to something new. Many women have complimented it, honestly to my surprise. Not that the purse is atrocious, but it does not carry a Gucci, Michael Kors, Coach, Chanel or any other tony label. It is just a purple purse that fits me and holds my essentials, and sometimes those of my children. Until re … [Read more...]

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

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By Shanell T. Smith.   Faith groups join in the People's Climate March.  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? What if God is keeping score? Oh. Dear. Might I remind us all, that if we do not tend to this earth, we are only … [Read more...]

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

By Matt Skinner.  Americans talk about race. It’s hard to follow through on our commitments. It’s hard to do what we know to be right. We don’t need Jesus to remind us of all that. Most of us figured it out easily enough on our own. What, then, does Jesus contribute to our understanding of what a well-lived life looks like? Can he help people of faith be agents of change, people who look at our fouled-up world and make differences that will benefit other people and will give voice to G … [Read more...]


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