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 Forbes Our 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, destabilization… 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… Read more

Rise Up!

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany The prophet Micah lived during a time of political turmoil and transition. Sound familiar? For a large portion of the eighth century BC, the Assyrian Empire conducted a massive military conquest of Israel and Judah. During the time of Micah, Samaria had already fallen, and King Hezekiah was in the midst of fervent preparations of protecting Jerusalem for an inevitable Assyrian invasion. At the time, the Assyrian Empire was the largest empire the world had… Read more

Trump’s Inauguration and Conflicted Hope in a Divided Christianity

By the time many read these words the United States of America will have innagurated its 45th President, Donald J. Trump. In a democratic republic like the United States we take much pride in the peaceful transition of powers and nothing symbolizes this more than the inauguration of a new president.  Through this event, full as it is with pageantry, patriotism, and political theatre, we Americans demonstrate our commitment to country over partisan politics.  We ceremonially pledge allegiance to the flag… Read more

First Sunday after the Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord

by Jim Kast-Keat How often do you think Jesus remembered his baptism? How often do you remember yours? A splash of water. A gasp of breath. A startled cry. Eyes wide open. A community cheers as they offer their welcome. Remember your baptism. I was baptized on October 23, 1983. I was ten days old, held in my parents arms, and surrounded by family, friends, and a community of faith that would call me their own. The pastor placed his… Read more

Selfie Culture and True Community (Isaiah 63:7-9)

The modern world for the last four hundred years has been largely committed to the autonomous self, an individual who is without social burden or obligation. From the mathematical logic of Rene Descartes to the Enlightenment rationality of Emmanuel Kant, our Western world has taken a dramatic “turn to the self.” Many people who have never heard of Rene Descartes or Emmanuel Kant have embraced the unburdened self as the center of all reality. This in turn has led variously… Read more

Signs Endure (Isaiah 7:10-16, Matthew 1:18-25, Romans 1:1-7)

The onslaught of “fake news,” concocting stories about the Other, erect seemingly inseparable cultural chasms between us. They reinforce “echo chambers” of homogeneity, and regardless of the “facts” deliver a fake narrative: people that disagree are enemies. Here’s the thing though: real news may use facts but only as a weapon to do the same reinforcing; in many ways all news is becoming “fake news.” (No wonder it’s so hard to tell the two apart!). The truth, as ever, is… Read more

Voices in the Wilderness (Matthew 3:1-12)

By Shively Smith.   The impact of the #SayHerName Movement cannot be overstated. This is a campaign that gives voice to “black women’s experiences of profiling and policing,” setting the names and death-taking stories of women, like Sandra Bland and Meagan Hockaday, alongside the names and stories of black males like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. The #SayHerName movement is a resource that makes the public aware of the trauma and loss of life experienced by black females in “civilized”… Read more

Prophetic Resistance (Isaiah 2:1-5)

By Eric Barreto.     Losing an election shouldn’t feel this dire. Sometimes our preferred candidates win. We celebrate, but then life goes back to normal. Sometimes they lose. We protest. We demand a recount. But eventually we accept the loss. We lick our wounds and begin to think about the next election. But this was not a normal election. None of what has been happening over the last few weeks is normal. No part of this campaign was as… Read more

Heeding God’s Relentless Demand for Justice (Jeremiah 23:1-6)

By Keith Anderson.   This year’s bruising presidential election ended in shocking fashion in the early hours of last Wednesday morning when Hillary Clinton conceded the race to now president-elect Donald Trump. Much of the focus of the election had been on leadership, temperament, experience, and fitness to lead the country. And already, in the hours and days following the election, political pundits are speculating on what kind of president Trump will be. Will he continue his inflammatory and divisive… Read more


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