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...]

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...]

Are We Safer Now? Security and Mercy in God’s Law (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18)

Are We Safer Now? Security and Mercy in God’s Law (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18) Johnny Ramirez-JohnsonHow would you feel today if you learned that your neighbor is a refugee from Syria? The concerns about security (i.e. the measurements we take to arrive at a place of safety) have become central to our daily life; we (all Americans) have banned Syrian refugees from entering the USA. The Statue of Liberty has nothing for them, they are a threat to our security. Are we safer now?True safety comes f … [Read more...]

Too Much Salt or Not Enough? What Jesus Says About Americans and Their Super Bowl

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany The Super Bowl – A Religious Festival?It will surely be a festival, but is it religious? Most people will say “no,” but in terms of devotion – well, devotion to a team or even the game itself often has religious zeal. The game hasn’t started yet, but we can imagine this year’s festival. Even the number of the game cannot be ordinary. Roman numerals set it apart as sacred time: this is Super Bowl LI (and that doesn’t mean Long Island!) Pilgrimages began earlier … [Read more...]