The Downfall of Giving Into Fear: Mark 6:14-29

By Rev. James M. Childs John the Baptist was convicted, convinced of his ordination to prepare the way of the Messiah with a call to repentance. Herod Antipas was conflicted, assailed by contradictory impulses within himself and vulnerable to pressures outside himself. Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Death of John the Baptist Barbara K. Lundblad, Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text Mark 6:14-29, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “The Downfall of Giving… Read more

No Priority Like Health, No Place Like Home: Mark 6:1-13

By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder The reports are stunning! Due to the financial fiasco of 2008 the average wealth of persons in the middle class has dropped over $40,000. It took four years for a generation of wealth to evaporate. It will surely take more time than this to regain these funds. What is just as appalling is the reminder that this decline was due to bad mortgage lending. Greedy lenders and dare I say some greedy borrowers (with too little… Read more

Taking Jesus Seriously: Mark 5:21-43

ByRev. Dr. Lewis Galloway The book of Ecclesiastes says that there is an appropriate time for every matter: there is a time to mourn and a time to laugh. When I was growing up, my sister and I used to drive our parents to distraction by our inappropriate laughter at the worst of times. Concerts, school programs, church, even funerals, brought out our nervous giggles. At my wedding, my mother told my sister that she had to sit in the… Read more

Lord of the Storm: Mark 4:35-41

By: Greg Carey On a first read, Mark 4:35-41 looks like a demonstration of Jesus’ astonishing power—and so it is. Jesus’ disciples are traveling across the Sea of Galilee. When a violent storm threatens to destroy the boat and its inhabitants, Jesus somehow manages to remain “asleep on the cushion.” Watch the Video: Jesus Stops a Storm Greg Carey, professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary, discusses Mark 4:35-41. (more…) Read more

Pariahs No More: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

By Alvin Jackson Pariah is a noun — a person without status, a rejected member of society, an outcast. Watch the Video: My Journey as a Lesbian Pastor Rev. Barbara Lundblad reflects on her experiences as a lesbian pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. In 2009, the ELCA voted to allow the ordination of candidates in “lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.” “For me it’s been a breath of fresh air, it has meant that I don’t have to be… Read more

What Makes a Family? (Mark 3:20-35)

By Matthew L. Skinner “Parents just don’t understand” might be an ever-present theme in popular music, but it’s hardly a modern phenomenon. Jesus’ Family Discord If you’re looking for snapshots of well-adjusted and happy parent-child relationships from the ancient world, the Bible probably shouldn’t be on your short list of sources. Consider even Jesus’ family, for example. The New Testament preserves evidence suggesting that Jesus’ relationship with his mother was rather strained. Similar tensions appear to have existed between him… Read more

The Price of Being Prophetic: Isaiah 6.1–8; John 3.1–17

By Sze-kar Wan The recent escape of the well-known blind Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng from house arrest to the American embassy has attracted a lot of attention in the media. The story is rife with possibilities in an election year, and pundits and politicians are quick to spin it to their own advantage, be it to extol their virtues or launch preemptive strikes against their opponents. It would be easy to dismiss the American reaction as cynical and… Read more

Acts 2:1-21, Think Differently About Difference

By Dr. Eric D. Barreto Christians have often hoped for a time when our racial and economic differences would cease, when in Christ we would all be indistinguishable. Such impulses are earnest but fundamentally misguided. Watch the Video: Religion Without Borders Sikh, Muslim and Hindu students from across New York City have spent the last six months learning the art of debate through “Debate in the Neighborhood,” a collaboration between the International Debate Education Association and the Interfaith Center of… Read more

Psalm 1: Putting Evil in Its Place

By Dr. Amy Erickson Psalm 1 begins and ends in a way that puts a lot people off, particularly those who are less-than-compelled by fire and brimstone preaching: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread” (v 1) and “the Lord watches over the way of the righteous but the way of the wicked will perish” (v 6). It sounds like the psalm advocates – not only name-calling -… Read more

Acts 10: 44-48: Holy Calamity

By Rev. David Lewicki We were warned. In the second chapter of the Book of Acts, after a resurrected Jesus leaves the scene for good, the first disciples are hanging out, waiting for God-knows-what. What, exactly, does one wait for after you’ve just seen your dead friend come back to life and eat a piece of fish (Luke 24)? Watch the Video: Faces of Poverty: A War Veteran After serving in Iraq, a young father returns to Reading, Pa. and… Read more


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