Jesus, Poor People, and the Underside of Thanksgiving (Matthew 25:31-46)

By Billy Honor. Midnight Run is dedicated to helping the homeless population in New York City. I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, the fellowship, the friends and family, the football and did I mention that I love the food.  Unashamedly it might very well be my favorite holiday.  Yet, despite all my warm feelings about Thanksgiving, I am not blind to its historical shortcomings. As Jane Kamensky says, “…holidays say much less about who we really were in some… Read more

Should Christians be Afraid of Ebola or Climate Change or ISIS or…? (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

By Eric D. Barreto. Teresa Ghilarducci on faith and economic inequality. Fear is in the air. Ebola. War. Conflict. Economic turmoil. Political victories. Political losses. This is the stuff of the nightly news. And everywhere we look we have a new villain to worry about, a new threat against which we ought to brace, a new sense of hopelessness. This is nothing new, of course. The world has always been a scary place. If anything, we have become inured to… Read more

Since We Have to Wait, We’d Better Get to Work (Matthew 25:1-13)

By Matthew L. Skinner.   North Fork Spanish Apostolate has helped thousands of immigrants in Long Island. What does the Christian life consist of? What does God expect from us? Here’s Jesus’ answer, according to Matthew’s Gospel: “Wait faithfully. Together. Or else.” Sure, that isn’t an exact quotation, but it sums up—again, according to Matthew—what Jesus says to his followers when he instructs them about how they should live after he has departed from this earth. Let me address the… Read more

All Saints’ Day: Facing Death (Matthew 5:1-12)

By Greg Carey.   Bishop Kevin Farrell comments on giving shelter to potential Ebola victims. “Administration officials have repeatedly assured Americans that they were prepared for Ebola. Less than two weeks ago here at the White House, they insisted they knew how to stop this virus in its tracks. But so far, the virus appears to be outrunning the government.” So began Scott Horsley’s report from the White House, one of three separate stories NPR’s news show All Things Considered… Read more

Reformation Then and Now: Dismantling Walls Today (Psalm 46)

By Dirk G. Lange.   November 9, 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Just over fifty-three years ago, a huge wall was built, a mighty fortress—a wall around East Berlin, a wall to keep out and a wall to keep in. This wall isolated people and forcefully molded them into a single, straight, dreary one-dimensional way of living. The wall represented an oppressive system without cracks, without breaks, without life. Almost 500 years… Read more

Whose Image is Stamped on Your Heart? (Matthew 22:15-22)

By Doug Mendenhall.   People talk about how they give to those in need. Two decades ago, when we were both young and dangerous, one of the first jobs my wife held was as a collections officer for the Internal Revenue Service. For several years, she was sent to pry Uncle Sam’s due from tax dodgers and protesters in rural Appalachia. They may have grumbled, but it turned out not to be a fair match; she gave no quarter and… Read more

What’s So “Domestic” About Violence? (Philippians 4:1-9)

By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder. People share their opinions and experiences about a growing concern—bullying.  I carry a purple purse. I actually bought it three years ago to treat myself to something new. Many women have complimented it, honestly to my surprise. Not that the purse is atrocious, but it does not carry a Gucci, Michael Kors, Coach, Chanel or any other tony label. It is just a purple purse that fits me and holds my essentials, and sometimes those of… Read more

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

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… 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… 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… Read more


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