Walls: Not in My Backyard (Luke 4:21-30)

By Greg Carey.Lots of our public conversations these days relate to boundaries. In a presidential election year, with seemingly countless candidates and endless debates, it’s hard to avoid the angry voices and fierce scowls.There is so much arguing over boundaries. Should we welcome refugees from Syria, a nation torn by civil war and terrorism? How should our society respond to others who have immigrated here without government approval? Although immigration from our southern border h … [Read more...]

Tamir Rice and the Anguish of Our National Sin (Nehemiah 8:1-10)

By Robert Williamson.On December 28, just before New Year’s Day, a Cleveland grand jury declined to indict the officers who killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who had been playing with a toy gun in a park near his home. For many, the news resounded as yet one more tragic refrain in the long litany of our nation’s utter disregard for Black lives. Extinguished in the innocence of childhood, without even a second thought.America’s history of white supremacy stretches back to the very f … [Read more...]

Manifested Hospitality for the Greater Good (John 2:1-11)

By Rev. Dr. Shively T.J. Smith The activities of the Christian community should be no less vigorous as we enter the mid-month point in January 2016 and the energy of the Christmas Season has passed. In fact, it is on this Second Sunday after Epiphany (the Christian feast day and season known as “manifestation”) that an honest evaluation of our situation locally, regionally, and abroad should be made.This is a presidential election year in America and the television program sc … [Read more...]

The Missing Piece (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

By Susan Sparks.Arno Michaelis has a change of heart after being shown kindness.Life’s difficulties can come in many forms: illness, loss, prejudice, pain . . . and assembling furniture from Ikea. Anyone who has attempted to put together anything from this wonderfully creative, yet maddening, merchant understands the frustration. The box arrives with a zillion pieces and, the best part, instructions in Swedish. After hours of deciphering the directions and gathering together the c … [Read more...]

Looking for Jesus (Luke 2:41-52)

By Jim Kast-Keat.A look at the year 2015.You’ll always find what you’re looking for. Unless, of course, you’re Mary and Joseph, looking for your preteen son on your road trip home from the Passover festival in Jerusalem.This is the scene found in Luke 2:41-52, the Gospel reading for the final Sunday of 2015. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus joined other travelers on their annual pilgrimage. At the end of the festival they begin their trek home. Mary and Joseph assume Jesus is behaving like … [Read more...]

Learning from Mary in Our Age of Endless War (Luke 1:39-55)

By Matthew L. Skinner.Author and activist Shane Claiborne champions a program that turn weapons of death into instruments of hope.National Geographic magazine recently named Mary, the mother of Jesus, “the most powerful woman in the world” as an appraisal of her ongoing influence and popularity. But do Mary’s words and example have a prayer of being heard and effecting change in this time of war?Life during WartimeIndeed, this is war. America has effectively been engaged in co … [Read more...]


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