Standing With Blue and Black Lives (Luke 12:32-40)

By Karyn L. Wiseman. iPhone or Droid? Right or wrong? Oreos or Chocolate Chips? Left or right? Action Movies or Rom-Coms? Facebook or Twitter? Toilet paper over or under? #BlackLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter?Many folks think that the choices we have before us are simply binary choices; one or the other has to be our position (and truthfully the toilet paper roll placement may be absolute—it’s over, people, over).But we do not have to choose one or the other the way th … [Read more...]

Who Am I? Rant vs. Relationship (Hosea 11:1-11)

By Walter Brueggemann. This poem in Hosea, by the force of prophetic imagination, takes us inside the troubled interiority of God. It does not, however, start there. It begins, rather, with an external encounter between God and God’s people, Israel. The poetry is cast in the imagery of “father-son,” with God cast as father and Israel cast as son. (It could as well have been cast as “mother-daughter,” but that would not happen in that ancient patriarchal society.) The imagery of “fath … [Read more...]

How Long, Oh Lord? Praying Without Ceasing for Justice (Luke 11:1-13)

By Onleilove Alston. As I looked through my Facebook newsfeed I saw many of my African-American friends asking, “How long, oh Lord?” This question is not just one we asked after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were added to our great cloud of witnesses as the latest victims of racial violence, but this is a question our parents, grandparents, and generations have asked as they faced oppression.Police killed at least 136 black people in 2016, according to The Guardian’s projec … [Read more...]

Death, Injustice, and a Basket of Fruit (Amos 8:1-12)

By Melissa Browning.Things aren’t always what they seem. Like that time God sent Amos a fruit basket. It was a tricky move. Generally speaking, a fruit basket is a wonderful, cheerful gift. Strawberries, blueberries, plums – or in Amos’ case, ripe figs. Everybody loves summer fruit. It reminds us of picnics, and parks, and cookouts with friends. But when God sent Amos a fruit basket, it came with a foreboding little note that proclaimed the end of the world.This “dresser of sycamore t … [Read more...]

Moral Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14)

By Adriene Thorne.  Now the United States of America was commander of the free world. She was a great country, in her own sight and in the sight of others, highly regarded, because through her the Lord had given victory. She was a valiant warrior, but she had leprosy. _______________________________________________________My paraphrase of the 2 Kings text this Independence Day weekend captures, for me, the current flavor of our United States of America. It is evident in … [Read more...]

The End of Excuses (Luke 9:51-62)

By Karyn L. Wiseman.I’m a news junky and the last few weeks have been intense to say the least. They have been filled with tragic, uplifting, historic, and profound moments. Here are a few:We commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the storming of the beaches on D-Day during World War II and remembered the sacrifice of those brave souls who fought to bring freedom to our world.A woman reached the critical number of delegates to be declared the presumptive nominee of a major p … [Read more...]