A Vision for America: John 2:1-11

By Reverend Dr. Alvin O'Neal Jackson“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:10Occupy the DreamSpurred on by the Occupy Wall Street movement, African-American leaders have banded together to forge the Occupy the Dream movement to highlight the widening gap between the rich and poor. Economic injustice was a focus of Dr. Martin Luther King's activism near … [Read more...]

Waiting on the Messiah and Presidential Expectations: A Study of Luke

By David A. Sánchez, Ph.D.It is an odd juxtaposition, December 21, 2012 and January 21, 2013. The former date representing the “so-called” Mayan apocalypse where the usual suspects prepared for the end of the world – many of whom were Christians awaiting the second coming of Christ – and the latter date, which is the day President Barack Obama will be inaugurated for his second term.In my estimation, this odd twenty-first century connection reflects the event known as the baptism of Jesu … [Read more...]

Frankincense, Myrrh and a Toothbrush? Matthew 2:1-12

By Lisa Nichols HickmanIn As I Lay Dying, the main character Anse appears self-absorbed when at his wife’s death he says, “God’s will be done. . . . Now I can get them teeth.” His character will certainly not be remembered for altruism. But Anse will be remembered for the physical effects of poverty: feet marred by labor, a spine permanently bent, skin unable to sweat from sunstroke suffered tending the fields, and a mouth without teeth.Sumter Faith Clinic: "The Lord Led Us" … [Read more...]

The Hell of Parenting: A Study of 1 Samuel

By Jacob D. MyersFew narratives in the Hebrew Bible are more foreign to us than this week’s lectionary.We do not give away our children. In a society determined by socio-economic forces utterly beyond the control of individual citizens (e.g., globalization) we do our best to prepare ourselves for the inevitability of change. But what happens when we lose our footing?Contemporary life changes too fast for habits and routines to have any chance to settle into a pattern. Western individuals … [Read more...]

Can We Speak of God’s Activity, in Triumph or Tragedy? (Luke 1:39-55)

ByMathew SkinnerSometimes, the worse the tragedy, the more abhorrent the theology it elicits.Still numb from the overwhelming evil perpetrated against helpless children and schoolteachers last Friday, now we have to read idiocy from James Dobson and others who declare the senseless carnage a sign of God’s judgment against America. His words are disgraceful. I find them exploitative and unchristian.Certain Christians seem compelled to speak for God in disorienting moments like these, … [Read more...]

On the Fiscal Cliff with John the Baptist: Luke 3:7-18

By Carolyn J. SharpRecently I had the unsettling experience of receiving unsolicited financial advice from John the Baptist. Not directly, of course— his counsel was mediated through an ancient codex, the Gospel of Luke. Written in the latter part of the first century, this text has been lovingly interpreted by monks, artists, preachers, musicians, and biblical scholars from past eras to today. Luke is a rich source of traditions about Jesus of Nazareth, and given the Gospel’s clear links to … [Read more...]


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