A Holy Visitation (Matthew 17:1-9, John 3:1-17)

By Rev. Cassandra A. HendersonIt almost seems contrary to consider the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-9 as part of the journey in Lent. How does God’s breaking through time to reveal the prophets of old, Moses and Elijah connect to the solitude of Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness? How does the glow of shining light through the one declared the very light of the world in the presence of his disciples James, John and Peter speak to 40 days of sacred suffering and self-inflicted de … [Read more...]

It’s Been 40 Days: How to Resist the Temptation of Injustice and Intolerance

By Karyn L WisemanI keep seeing listicles pop up on my Facebook feed. 40 Best Movies of all Time. 40 most underrated actors. 40 best hip-hop moments in history. 40 things that make everyone smile. 40 little known facts about Friends. Listicles of the 40 most, best, or worst whatever … it goes on and on. You click on the link and then get to click through page after page of these crazy listicles. They drive me insane and there is always another “NEXT” button to click. And why is it so often 40 … [Read more...]

A God of Second Chances (2 Peter 1:16-21)

A God of Second Chances (2 Peter 1:16-21) By Melissa BrowningMy five-year-old, Olivia, lives in a world where all that she imagines is fiercely real. She walks through life with an entourage of imaginary friends, all busy participants in the universe she has created. The situations she conjures up are colorful and complex. On more than one occasion, I have been asked to mediate imaginary disputes or attend birthday parties for characters that I cannot see. Among the entourage of the … [Read more...]

Are We Safer Now? Security and Mercy in God’s Law (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18)

Are We Safer Now? Security and Mercy in God’s Law (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18) Johnny Ramirez-JohnsonHow would you feel today if you learned that your neighbor is a refugee from Syria? The concerns about security (i.e. the measurements we take to arrive at a place of safety) have become central to our daily life; we (all Americans) have banned Syrian refugees from entering the USA. The Statue of Liberty has nothing for them, they are a threat to our security. Are we safer now?True safety comes f … [Read more...]

Saving the Soul of Our Nation

Saving the Soul of Our Nation (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, I Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37) By Rev. Dr. James ForbesOur nation has a right to expect faith communities to provide vision, vitality, meaning, purpose, responsibility toward each other, respect and care for our planet, as well as accountability and trust in God who is the creator of us all. Lukewarm and lackluster religion will not be able to address the demands of these troubling times of polarization, … [Read more...]

Too Much Salt or Not Enough? What Jesus Says About Americans and Their Super Bowl

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany The Super Bowl – A Religious Festival?It will surely be a festival, but is it religious? Most people will say “no,” but in terms of devotion – well, devotion to a team or even the game itself often has religious zeal. The game hasn’t started yet, but we can imagine this year’s festival. Even the number of the game cannot be ordinary. Roman numerals set it apart as sacred time: this is Super Bowl LI (and that doesn’t mean Long Island!) Pilgrimages began earlier … [Read more...]