What If the Earth Was God’s Vineyard? (Matthew 21:33-46)

Shanell T Smith Prof Pic

By Shanell T. Smith.   Faith groups join in the People's Climate March.  Dare to go there with me, if you will. What if we imagine God’s vineyard as described in Matthew 21 to be this beautiful world we inhabit? What will happen if we reject it—if we continue to treat it with disrespect, fail to listen to its natural woes, dismiss the warning signs it gives us? What if God is keeping score? Oh. Dear. Might I remind us all, that if we do not tend to this earth, we are only … [Read more...]

In Compassion and Sympathy: A Christian Response to Religious Violence


By Jacob D. Myers.  Addressing the rise of religious violence and the role that faith leaders have in working to a solution.“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2 I write this essay on the eve of a US led air campaign that marks “the biggest direct military intervention in Syr … [Read more...]

Why Work to Change the World? (Matthew 21:23-32)

By Matt Skinner.  Americans talk about race. It’s hard to follow through on our commitments. It’s hard to do what we know to be right. We don’t need Jesus to remind us of all that. Most of us figured it out easily enough on our own. What, then, does Jesus contribute to our understanding of what a well-lived life looks like? Can he help people of faith be agents of change, people who look at our fouled-up world and make differences that will benefit other people and will give voice to G … [Read more...]

Blessing Those Who Have Cursed Us (Jonah 3:10—4:11)


By Eric D. Barreto.   Volunteers channel faith, compassion, and muscle into new homes for the poor. Sometimes, we teach children the oddest Bible stories. It is certainly curious that we would decorate baby nurseries with images from the story of Noah’s Ark. The smiling elephants in the comically tiny boat must always be blocking out the mass of humanity and animal life drowning under a seemingly never-ending deluge. The story of Jonah is another favorite in the Sunday School classroom. … [Read more...]

Foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)

By Margaret Aymer.Children are suffering from violence in the U.S. and around the world.Thug. Thief. Pot smoker. He should have surrendered to the authorities. Terrorists. Anti-Semites. They use their own children as human shields. It’s their own fault that thousands of their children are dead. Illegals. Drug smugglers. Who cares if their average age is under 13, if they are prey to gangs and sex traffickers? They are coming across the border to attack our women. Michael Brown. The c … [Read more...]

A Strange Summer Vacation (Romans 13:8-14)

By Barbara K. Lundblad.Five students from different faiths travel the world in pursuit of interfaith dialogue. “What did you do on your summer vacation?”  Even now students may be answering that question in essays at the start of this new school year. Maybe you wrote such a paper years ago. No matter what you did or where you went this past summer, it was almost impossible to escape the heaviness of the headlines. Thousands of children traveled alone from Central American countries to ente … [Read more...]