Studying the Law as We Study the Word (2 Timothy 2:8-15)

By Yolanda SmithAs Americans nervously prepared for the implementation of the newest phase of the Affordable Care Act on October 1, 2013, it was clear that even on the eve of its implementation, many looming questions still swirled around this new law. “What will it entail?” Who has to sign-up?” “What will it cost,” “Will I have to give up my current health care plan?” What if I have a pre-existing condition?” “What are health-care exchanges?” “How long do I have to sign-up?” and “What pe … [Read more...]

The Modern Need for Lamentations (Lamentations 1:1-11)

By Kimberly D. RussawTwenty first century readers of the Scriptures are likely uncomfortable with the book of Lamentations and its stories of weeping, groaning, and grieving. But, the act of lamenting is not unique to biblical Israelites.Today’s world is full of lament-worthy situations.  One need only turn on the nightly news to hear countless stories from places like Detroit, Michigan and Camden, New Jersey – plagued by record foreclosures, abandoned buildings, corrupt government of … [Read more...]

It Is about the Land. It Is Not about the Land (Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15)

By Jennifer Peace Our relationship to place is so conditioned by our life experiences. When I moved to North Cambridge, MA, from the expansive West Coast, I got a lesson in the meaning of “near” and “far.” Walking around my new neighborhood, I greeted an old woman sitting in front of her house.“Did you grow up around here?” I asked.“Oh no,” she assured me, “I grew up way over on Sherman Street.” Sherman Street is about three blocks from where we were talking, but it is a … [Read more...]

Shrewd Christians (Luke 16:1-13)

By Verity A. JonesWe worry now, but we’ve been concerned about the economy for a long time. The economic recovery from the recession in America has been slower than we hoped, and people continue to suffer from the collapse of so many industries and jobs and safety nets.  Much of the pain seems new for large swaths of the American population. But in reality, we’ve been worrying about money forever.The August employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a slight decline i … [Read more...]

I Know What God Looks Like (Luke 15:1-10)

By Matthew L. SkinnerDo you want to see what God is like? It just got harder to do so on Wikipedia.Wikipedia still has an article called “God,” and it hosts a range of ever-changing perspectives. But a few days ago the site made God less visible when it deleted its short article on Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper who in late August may have prevented a massacre at an elementary school near Atlanta. Wikipedia merged her name into another, more obscure article.The Wikipedians’ bland deb … [Read more...]

It’s Not About You (Luke 14:25-33)

By John NunesA life transition—like any effort to follow Jesus—is stressful: packing and unpacking, bidding farewells, refocusing from one set of commitments to a new future. It might be summarized in the early North African church leader’s interpretation of this Sunday’s Gospel reading from Luke 14:27: “Take up your stress and your tortures.” (Tertullian)This September, my family’s transition from the hazy days of summer’s more casual pace back into the back-to-school rat race is tou … [Read more...]


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