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...]

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 t … [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 hands in the water and then onto my head, … [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 to consumer satiation fo … [Read more...]