Walter Brueggemann on Wisdom (Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31)

By Walter Brueggemann.This text is one of the loveliest and most important biblical texts that respond to the question: “What is the world like? How does it work?” The text is framed as a speech by “wisdom” who is presented as an active agent who has a voice for self-announcement. It is the work of the poet to bring to availability that which remains hidden but is deeply operative in the working of creation.Wisdom identifies three relationships that are crucial to the working the worl … [Read more...]

Pentecost and the Legacy of Prince (Acts 2:1-21)

By Shively T.J. Smith.Just a couple of weeks ago, many people were tossed unexpectedly into a spiral of shock and loss. People all over the world found themselves grieving at the same moment as news broke that Prince Rogers Nelson was dead on April 21, 2016. This moment of loss was filled with unified diversity. People of different ethnicities, nations, genders, ages, and religions felt similar feelings of bereavement. For some, who may never even have attended a Prince concert, they f … [Read more...]

Exposing a Government’s Abuse of Power, and Other Life Hacks (Acts 16:16-40)

By Matthew L. Skinner.Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. It’s familiar to many.The story features a culture that treats people like commodities, valuing them only insofar as they produce wealth.It describes a society that closes ranks against outsiders, concluding that foreign people and ideas are detrimental to established values and incompatible with true patriotism.It tells about a system that regards punishment and incarceration as easy solutions, preferring the bl … [Read more...]

Seeking Wholeness In an Inherently Flawed System (John 5:1-9)

By Raj Nadella.A recent study published by the Pew Research Center offers some interesting data about economic inequality in the United States. In 1982, the top 1 percent families took in 10.8 percent percent of all the pretax income. The bottom 90 percent got 64.7 percent. By 2012, it was 22.5 percent for the top 1 percent and 49.6 percent for the bottom 90 percent. In a more disturbing trend the top 1 percent owned 35 percent of all the personal wealth in 2010. The bottom 50 percent ow … [Read more...]

Climate Change: We Are Responsible (Acts 11:1-18)

By Rev. Jes Kast-Keat.This week people around the country will participate in Earth Day activities. Kids will come home with a tree sapling to plant in their yards. City classrooms will head out on their sidewalk and pick up trash. People will compost and recycle the waste that has gathered. Some of us may gather at rallies celebrating our responsibility in earth care. Others of us will head to lectures where we will hear that “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate … [Read more...]

Chibok Girls: We Will Not Be Quiet, We Will Not Forget

By Rev. Adriene Thorne.“Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing.  But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman. When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said … [Read more...]