An Unexpected Servant: The Leadership of Pope Francis (Isaiah 49:1-7)

Huber

By Lynn HuberPope Francis signaled a new kind of Vatican leadership from the very first acts of his papacy. As the New Year brings reflection over the past year, we have heard much about Pope Francis and the ways he has surprised Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  The suddenness of his predecessor’s resignation this past spring, the fact that he is the first Pope from the Americas, and his apparent commitment to his namesake St. Francis’ concern for the poor and displaced al … [Read more...]

Baptism, Righteousness, and the War on Poverty: A 2014 Epiphany (Matthew 3:13-17)

Nam_ONScripture

By Roger NamFifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "war on poverty in America."On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a landmark State of the Union address, inaugurating the War on Poverty. The speech preceded a variety of legislative actions that addressed the enormous levels of poverty of the 1960s and explicitly linked the crisis to racial and ideological tensions. Regardless of one’s own political leanings, the ideals of fairness and justice e … [Read more...]

Matthew 2:13 – 23: The Massacre of the Innocents and the Soul of the Warrior

ColemanBaker

By Coleman BakerSoldiers across millennia have had to take actions that violate basic human morality, from Herod's slaughter of the innocents to soldiers in the field today.As we move into the Sundays following Christmas and begin to anticipate Epiphany, we face the terror of the coming week’s Gospel reading, the Massacre (or Slaughter) of the Innocents. While there are a number of stories in the Bible that are difficult to read/hear, Herod’s murdering the innocent children of Bet … [Read more...]

#firstcenturyproblems (Matthew 1:18-25)

Keith

The Rev. Keith AndersonJoseph's story of concern for his family echoes in the story of Glen, a father struggling to provide for his daughter.With just a few days to go before Christmas, many Americans will be rushing around completing their Christmas preparations: doing their last minute shopping, finalizing travel plans, figuring out how to deal with awkward family dynamics. In many cases, they will be faced with what is popularly known as #firstworldproblems—problems of i … [Read more...]

Happy Are Those Whose Help Is the God of Jesse (Psalm 146:5-10)

Lisa Hickman Headshot_0

By Lisa Nichols HickmanNewtown's Rev. Matthew Crebbin reflects on the anxiety about the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and transforming grief and anger into love and action to make a better world.After learning about Jesse Lewis, a six-year-old who died in the Sandy Hook shooting a year ago this December 14th, I’m thinking about scratching out the name Jacob in Psalm 146 and writing in Jesse.Psalm 146, verse 5 says, “Happy are those whose help is the God … [Read more...]

Isaiah and the Politics of Utopian Thinking (Isaiah 11:1-10)

C

 By Brennan BreedHere are a few faith leaders who took a stand and worked to make a better, more tolerant society in 2013.Earlier this month—just in time for the holidays—an automatic cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) decreased food aid to 47 million Americans who struggle to afford food on a daily basis. It is the largest cut to food aid programs since the beginning of the “War on Poverty” in the early 1960s. And that’s not all: Congress will likely cut food … [Read more...]


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