No Justice, No Peace (Luke 18:1-8)

By Matthew L. Skinner. The system is rigged. It always has been.Prosecutors manipulate grand juries. Rapists from elite families get special leniency. Laws that stipulate minimum sentences for certain crimes prey on people of color. Greedy bankers dupe their clients then detonate the economy for their own gain and hardly receive a slap on the wrist.Sometimes a reason for hope breaks through. Sometimes a president commutes unfair prison sentences. Sometimes someone says … [Read more...]

Except This Foreigner (Luke 17:11-19)

By Eric D. Barreto. If Jesus’ words never strike me as strange, if Jesus’ words never cause me some sense of unrest, if Jesus’ words never trouble me, then I can be sure of one thing: I can be sure that I am missing something important.In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus heals ten lepers who beg for his mercy. Having healed them, Jesus tells them to show themselves to the priests. As they go and discover that they have been delivered from a malady that is as spiritual as it is physical, only … [Read more...]

Ah, Jesus, I Get It Now! (Luke 17:5-10)

By Jacqui Lewis. No wonder we don’t talk about verses 7-10 of this text. Faith the size of a mustard seed. Great. Love it. Tiny seed. Lofty idea. Preachable. Even tweetable.But the rest? Say you have a servant (not even an employee, but a slave) and they are plowing the field or tending the sheep and they come in tired. Do you say, “Take a load off and have a bite to eat?” Or rather, don’t you insist that they, though tired, wait on you, cook your favorite meal, and serve it with … [Read more...]

Hope: The Call to Action (Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15)

By Valerie Bridgeman. “We are obligated to hope.” ~ Bishop Yvette Flunder, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and pastor of City of Refuge UCCI have watched with dread as a drama plays out in North Dakota. Thousands of Native Americans and their co-conspirators have taken a stand to try to stop the company, ironically named Dakota Access Pipeline, from drilling for crude oil on land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux nation. The company received approval to drill in late Jul … [Read more...]

Uber and Amos: Economic Justice in the Gig Economy (Luke 16:1-13)

By Keith Anderson.The curbside at Atlanta airport’s Terminal South is a strange place to have a moral crisis, but there I was. I had just arrived and in town and I needed a ride to my final destination. As I exited through the sliding glass door outside to the ground transportation area, on my right was the taxi stand. In my left hand was my iPhone open to the Uber app, which told me the nearest Uber car was just four minutes away.Taxi or Uber? For many, it is a question with i … [Read more...]

Lost and Found: Depression and Isolation (Luke 15.1-10)

By Karyn L. Wiseman.I went to Junior High and High School in the West Texas community of Andrews. It was a loving and vibrant community where high school football and marching band were important. I was a band geek and loved working with our band director, Jim Harvey. In 1984, Jim and his family went to their usual Colorado vacation spot to spend part of the summer. On July 11, their 14-year-old son, Chris, went for a walk with their dog. He visited with a friend in the trailer park at about … [Read more...]