Baptism, Righteousness, and the War on Poverty: A 2014 Epiphany (Matthew 3:13-17)

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By Roger NamFifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "war on poverty in America."On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a landmark State of the Union address, inaugurating the War on Poverty. The speech preceded a variety of legislative actions that addressed the enormous levels of poverty of the 1960s and explicitly linked the crisis to racial and ideological tensions. Regardless of one’s own political leanings, the ideals of fairness and justice e … [Read more...]

Matthew 2:13 – 23: The Massacre of the Innocents and the Soul of the Warrior

ColemanBaker

By Coleman BakerSoldiers across millennia have had to take actions that violate basic human morality, from Herod's slaughter of the innocents to soldiers in the field today.As we move into the Sundays following Christmas and begin to anticipate Epiphany, we face the terror of the coming week’s Gospel reading, the Massacre (or Slaughter) of the Innocents. While there are a number of stories in the Bible that are difficult to read/hear, Herod’s murdering the innocent children of Bet … [Read more...]

#firstcenturyproblems (Matthew 1:18-25)

Keith

The Rev. Keith AndersonJoseph's story of concern for his family echoes in the story of Glen, a father struggling to provide for his daughter.With just a few days to go before Christmas, many Americans will be rushing around completing their Christmas preparations: doing their last minute shopping, finalizing travel plans, figuring out how to deal with awkward family dynamics. In many cases, they will be faced with what is popularly known as #firstworldproblems—problems of i … [Read more...]

Happy Are Those Whose Help Is the God of Jesse (Psalm 146:5-10)

Lisa Hickman Headshot_0

By Lisa Nichols HickmanNewtown's Rev. Matthew Crebbin reflects on the anxiety about the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and transforming grief and anger into love and action to make a better world.After learning about Jesse Lewis, a six-year-old who died in the Sandy Hook shooting a year ago this December 14th, I’m thinking about scratching out the name Jacob in Psalm 146 and writing in Jesse.Psalm 146, verse 5 says, “Happy are those whose help is the God … [Read more...]

Can This World Be Saved? (Isaiah 2:1-5)

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By Bryan BibbImagine that you are sailing on the Titanic, and you alone know that the great ocean liner will hit an iceberg in 24 hours. What do you do? Whom do you tell? The answer depends on one important factor: can the crisis be averted? If you can somehow get the captain’s attention, the crew might be able to change course and avoid disaster. But if you know that the ship will sink regardless of your best efforts, what then? In that case, the best course of action is to get as many p … [Read more...]

The Death of Thanksgiving (Colossians 1:11-20)

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By Henry G. BrintonAs Thanksgiving approaches and commerce clashes with personal values, people talk about what they are thankful for.Macy’s Department Store is famous for presenting the Thanksgiving Day Parade. But now the same store that is in its 87th year of producing a nationally televised parade, watched by millions, is being blamed for ruining the holiday.What has the store done? Decided to open its doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving Day at 8:00 p.m. Time Magazine reports t … [Read more...]


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