Sell All Your Possessions! (Acts 4:32-35)

By Eric D. Barreto. Teresa Ghilarducci talks about economic inequality, the power of a living wage, and why this is a faith issue. Inequality is a relentless blight. The hopelessness too often engendered when a lack of resources aligns with insufficient educational access, the easy prejudice of one’s neighbors, and the ubiquity of oppression is dehumanizing and crushing. In recent days, much of our political discourse has focused—at least in words—on economic inequality. From the left and right alike, laments… Read more

Indiana and the Freedom of the Gospel

By Greg Carey. During the church’s highest holy season, Indiana’s religious freedom bill has captured our public conversation. Nuclear negotiations with Iran, a presidential election in war-torn Nigeria, and outrageous violence in Kenya notwithstanding, we can’t take our eyes off the Hoosier State and its Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Even as I write, breaking news has it that Indiana Republicans have amended the bill to rule out discrimination against LGBT folk by businesses within the state. For Christians, the controversy… Read more

Daring to Hope in the Stress of Uncertainty (Mark 16:1-8)

By Matthew L. Skinner. Stress is an accepted reality of everyday life. What stresses you out? Many people fear death. It’s an understandable fear. And one that’s socially acceptable. But shouldn’t we also admit that living can be scary as hell, too? As any fan of The Walking Dead and other apocalyptic fiction knows, it doesn’t take much for the lines between order and chaos, between civility and mayhem, and between trustworthiness and falsehood to be exposed as thinner than… Read more

Stories and Letters from Prison (Philippians 2:5-11)

By Barbara Lundblad. Sister Margaret McCabe has worked as a prison chaplain at the Robert N. Davoren Center on Rikers Island. Some years ago, Carl Jung told the story of a man who asked a rabbi why God was revealed to many people in days of old, but now nobody sees God. “Why is this?” he asked. The rabbi answered, “Because nowadays no one bows low enough.” Perhaps we are looking for God in all the wrong places. In today’s… Read more

Ferguson and Forgiveness (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

By Walter Brueggemann. We asked people what they think about racism in America. Lent is our season of honesty. It is a time when we may break out of our illusions to face the reality of our life in preparation for Easter, a radical new beginning. When, through this illusion breaking homework, we connect with reality we see that in our society the fabric of human community is almost totally broken and one glaring evidence of such brokenness is the… Read more

Immigration: Journey to a New Life (Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22)

By Lisa Nichols Hickman.  The faith communities of Laredo, Texas, help immigrants. All too often, Lent is about ‘my’ personal journey to the cross: I’m giving up… My Lenten discipline is… During Lent, I’m trying to…. During Lent, I’m fasting from… But Psalm 107 will have none of that “me, my and I.” Even when attempts are made to live beyond this presumption of self, we still land all too often in our own backyard.  Instead of giving up chocolate,… Read more

The Sacrifice of Covenant Relationship (Exodus 20:1-17)

By Kimberly D. Russaw.  Volunteers channel faith, compassion and muscle into new homes for the poor. On any given Saturday, people join Habitat for Humanity teams and commit to work to help eradicate poverty housing.  The individual volunteers give of their time, energy and physical ability because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  Similarly, in the HBO TV drama “Game of Thrones,” individuals from the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos volunteer to serve as… Read more

From Generation to Generation (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16)

By Adam Copeland. We asked people about wisdom and what advice they’d like to pass on to future generations. What do you want to pass on to your grandchildren? What will you give to future generations? There’s a special spot on my shelf for books my grandparents handed down to me over the years. I cherish the collection of love poetry my grandfather gave my grandmother for a wedding anniversary decades ago. I treasure my grandfather’s old prayer book and… Read more

ISIS, “American Sniper,” and Rainbows (Genesis 9:8-17)

By Greg Carey. Addressing the rise of religious violence and the role that faith leaders have in working to a solution. These days ISIS, more than any other global power, evokes the specter of violence and death. Boko Haram kidnaps girls by the thousands. The Soviets—I mean, the Russians acting like Soviets—impose their violent will on the Ukraine. Terror abounds all over the globe. In depicting the psychic harm war inflicts upon our souls, American Sniper breaks its own box… Read more

Forsaking the “Whiteness” of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9)

By Keith Anderson.  We asked a random group of people: Who do you talk to? Sparked by the shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, the subsequent deaths at the hands of law enforcement of Eric Garner in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, protests under the banners of #ferguson, #icantbreathe, and #blacklivesmatter have spread around the country and a passionate conversation about the role of race in America has been rejoined. These protests, along with coverage by… Read more