Finding Light in the Dark: Hope Inside Desperate Discourse (John 21:1-19)

By Karyn L. Wiseman. All you have to do is turn on the news to hear desperation, fear, anger, and hatred. We find it in our politics and in our public discourse. We find it in our churches and in our homes. And it happens all the time. But it also happens in the private moments of individuals. Desperation can be found all around us. Recently, a friend emailed me that their twenty-three-year-old son had attempted suicide. The young man… Read more

The Value and Limits of Religious Liberty (Acts 5:27-32)

By Matthew Skinner. Disagreements about whether and how a society should respect people’s “religious liberty” are nothing new. But, in case you hadn’t noticed, they seem to be growing louder. Conservative presidential candidates have increasingly invoked “religious liberty” as a way of expressing their objections to same-sex marriage. Controversial bills that echo the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act are working their way through the legislative machinery in states including Missouri and Georgia. And if you thought the Supreme Court’s 2014… Read more

Grace Bats Last (Luke 24:1-12)

By Rev. Susan Sparks. I am a big believer in shaking things up and approaching ideas through an unexpected perspective. Like the billboard I saw in Minnesota: It read, at the top, “Minnesota Cremation Society.” In the middle was a photo of a casket, and underneath, it read, “Think outside the box.” This year, let’s bring a fresh approach to Easter by using an unexpected perspective: Major League Baseball. Baseball and Easter are a perfect match. This year, Opening Day… Read more

Finding a Deeper Truth Together (Luke 22:14–23:56)

By Sister Simone Campbell. The story of Jesus’ passion and death has stirred my imagination since I was a child. In an act of profound mystery, Jesus walks toward the conflict swirling around him. Jesus accepts his arrest and does not raise his voice. His willingness to embrace the consequences of truth telling leaves him silent in the face of his accusers. His judges repeatedly say they can find no fault in this man, but the people want more. They… Read more

Jesus, Justice-Fatigue, and Why Being Black Is Exhausting (John 12:1-8)

By Billy Honor. Several days ago I was asked by a local news reporter what my response was to the report that Donald Trump, the leading vote getter in the Republican Presidential primary, waffled on whether or not to denounce the support of widely known White Supremacist David Duke.  Normally, it would have taken me seconds to get on my rhetorical high horse and rattle off a list of reasons why I found this deplorable yet not surprising given the… Read more

A Covenant of Neighborly Justice: Break the Chains of Quid Pro Quo (Isaiah 55:1-9)

By Walter Brueggemann. In this season of Lent, this text of summons may be a sobering one for us. In this election season amid shrill or buoyant rhetoric, we may not notice that there real choices to be made, even as Jews in ancient Babylon were confronted with real choices of a most elemental kind. These verses are addressed to elite Israelites who had been forcibly deported to Babylon when Jerusalem had been destroyed. While these deported elites yearned for… Read more

The Money Lie: Consumerism’s Empty Promise (Philippians 3:17-4:1)

By Adam J. Copeland. My wife and I are beginning to start the process of buying a house for the first time. For better or for worse, we have become regular viewers of HGTV’s line of television shows that target would-be home consumers just like us. There’s “Fixer Upper,” “Flip or Flop,” “Property Brothers,” “Love It or List It,” and…boy, could I go on. On the one hand these shows give us an interesting entre into what’s possible when it… Read more

Revolutionary Love: Dismantling Hierarchy and Pushing Boundaries (Romans 10:8b-13)

By Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis. I must confess that I am an African-American woman, a Christian woman, a woman who believes there is more than one path to God. Working in the Black Lives Matter movement with people of many faiths, I get a little fidgety when I hear the words “confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead.” I think, “Hey, what about my Jewish friend, Stef? She is not confessing the Lord-ship… Read more

Transfiguration: Encouragement for Faithfulness Unto Death (Luke 9:28-36)

By James Forbes. The gospel account of the transfiguration of Jesus comes at a time when we desperately need its powerful message of encouragement. Our nation is in the midst of an epidemic of what I call “a degenerative discouragement syndrome.” The news cycle enumerates a list of issues and concerns which seem to resist remediation or repair. The causes we struggle to address will differ but somewhere, right now, people are frustrated in their efforts to solve the problems… Read more

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 has declined over the… Read more