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...]

Trump’s Inauguration and Conflicted Hope in a Divided Christianity

By the time many read these words the United States of America will have innagurated its 45th President, Donald J. Trump.In a democratic republic like the United States we take much pride in the peaceful transition of powers and nothing symbolizes this more than the inauguration of a new president.  Through this event, full as it is with pageantry, patriotism, and political theatre, we Americans demonstrate our commitment to country over partisan politics.  We ceremonially pledge allegiance t … [Read more...]

First Sunday after the Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord

by Jim Kast-Keat How often do you think Jesus remembered his baptism? How often do you remember yours?A splash of water.A gasp of breath.A startled cry.Eyes wide open.A community cheers as they offer their welcome.Remember your baptism.I was baptized on October 23, 1983. I was ten days old, held in my parents arms, and surrounded by family, friends, and a community of faith that would call me their own. The pastor placed his hands in the water and then onto my head, … [Read more...]