Mary and Martha: Use Your Gifts, Whatever They May Be

 By Sister Carol Perry On a Sunny Afternoon It is a lovely late afternoon in the little village of Bethany on a hilltop outside Jerusalem.  This is a delightful place to visit because it offers a breeze above the valley.  But Jesus stops here often for more than that.  He knows he has friends in the persons of Martha and her siblings, Mary and Lazarus.This day, as the family of Bethany looks down the road, they see Jesus and some of his disciples approaching.  They know there will be time f … [Read more...]

Good Samaritans All Around

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By Eric D. BarretoThe story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is so familiar that to some it probably starts to verge on a cliché. Even people who have never read the Bible, let alone the Gospel of Luke, know the image of compassion embodied by the Samaritan who takes the risk to help a stranger in the midst of great trouble. In fact, the notion of a “Good Samaritan” has a cultural cache almost entirely separate from the term’s biblical origins.However, despite many repetitions and r … [Read more...]

Galatians 6: Fighting for Freedom

SBuckhanonCrowder

By Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Ph.D.“If you love somebody, set them free. Free. Free. Set them free.” Of all the songs to come to mind during this Independence Day weekend, this one rings in my head. Sting, the artist, did not have America’s freedom celebration in mind when he coined these words. Honestly, the song has little to do with patriotism; it is more of a ballad of love lost and letting go. Nonetheless I dare to invoke it, as the words resonate with the spirit of autonomy that … [Read more...]

Luke 9:51-62: Resistance Is Futile

Wiseman Headshot

By Rev. Dr. Karyn L. WisemanIn the Methodist tradition in which I was I raised, there is a concept of perfection. We “strive for perfection” in loving each other and loving God. It is not about avoiding all mistakes. It is about growing in love for neighbor and being hospitable to all we come in contact with. This is the point of our theology: as we grow in faith and love, we become closer to God. In the end, resisting God’s call to love others is pretty hard to do.And yet we know not eve … [Read more...]

Fear and Wisdom in the Immigration Debate

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By Raj NadellaThey have many labels. Undocumented immigrants. Illegal Immigrants. Illegal Aliens. Wetbacks. Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona, recently suggested that most of them are “drug mules.” Some have even called them “terrorists.” But few are known by their real names or treated as people with real lives.Most of them live at the edges of the society, under inhuman and dangerous conditions, and often separated from their loved ones. For some it may be a choice. However, a vast ma … [Read more...]

Religious Liberty for the Rest of Us

Anthony Hatcher

By Anthony HatcherThe Puritans sailed to these shores 400 years ago seeking freedom of religion, but freedom of their religion only. Earlier this year, a group of North Carolina lawmakers, apparently channeling the Puritans, tried to establish Christianity as the state religion.Their action was prompted by a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU noted that some county commissions and other governmental boards around the state opened meetings with prayer. While … [Read more...]


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