How to Be Perfect (Matthew 5:38-48)

By Eric D. BarretoThere's more to this year's Olympics than sports.“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Seriously, Jesus? Have you even met some of us? Have you seen the depths of our jealousies, the breadth of our greed? Have you noticed how insatiable our egos are? How deeply insecure we all are?Perfect?You cannot mean what you seem to mean.What then do we do with this seemingly impossible call? For many of us, this is one of those … [Read more...]

A New Way of Being “Pro-Choice”

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By Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Ph.D.Ella Baker chose her own path to effecting positive change. “I knew from the beginning that as a woman, an older woman, in a group of ministers who are accustomed to having women largely as supporters, there was no place for me to come into a leadership role. The competition wasn’t worth it.” These are the words Ella Baker spoke regarding her decision to leave the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC, in 1958. Baker was one of the core … [Read more...]

A Hard Word to Hear This Winter (Isaiah 58:1-9a)

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By Barbara LundbladMidnight Run distributes food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless.his has been a hard winter—from Minnesota to Alabama. It’s been a very hard winter for Tanya and Red and Jamie and Andre and Adrian and Mercy. They are my neighbors here in New York City. It’s not that the heat was shut off in their apartments because they didn’t pay their bills. They have no apartments. Since last fall, they have made their beds on the steps of Riverside Church, under the scaff … [Read more...]

Enjoy the Super Bowl; Be Suspicious of Its Values (Matthew 5:1-12)

Matthew Skinner

By Matthew L. SkinnerEye-opening numbers about the Super Bowl…and how they stack up against other things going on in America. If the outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl comes down to the game’s final play, and you find yourself inclined to ask Jesus to help your favorite team win, remember: It’s quite possible he doesn’t know squat about tackle football.At least, when we read the opening sentences of his Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew 5:1-12), it seems his values are li … [Read more...]

Paul’s Call to Unity and Dr. King’s Legacy (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

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By Doug HumeDoes the faith community fall short of the ideals established by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.?There is no question that our nation is currently deeply divided about a great many issues. In our effort to enshrine him, some may have lost sight that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. too addressed a nation that was divided. With all the media focus on the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination this past fall, the fiftieth anniversary of another great national tragedy … [Read more...]

An Unexpected Servant: The Leadership of Pope Francis (Isaiah 49:1-7)

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By Lynn HuberPope Francis signaled a new kind of Vatican leadership from the very first acts of his papacy. As the New Year brings reflection over the past year, we have heard much about Pope Francis and the ways he has surprised Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  The suddenness of his predecessor’s resignation this past spring, the fact that he is the first Pope from the Americas, and his apparent commitment to his namesake St. Francis’ concern for the poor and displaced al … [Read more...]


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