Exposing a Government’s Abuse of Power, and Other Life Hacks (Acts 16:16-40)

By Matthew L. Skinner.Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. It’s familiar to many.The story features a culture that treats people like commodities, valuing them only insofar as they produce wealth.It describes a society that closes ranks against outsiders, concluding that foreign people and ideas are detrimental to established values and incompatible with true patriotism.It tells about a system that regards punishment and incarceration as easy solutions, preferring the bl … [Read more...]

Seeking Wholeness In an Inherently Flawed System (John 5:1-9)

By Raj Nadella.A recent study published by the Pew Research Center offers some interesting data about economic inequality in the United States. In 1982, the top 1 percent families took in 10.8 percent percent of all the pretax income. The bottom 90 percent got 64.7 percent. By 2012, it was 22.5 percent for the top 1 percent and 49.6 percent for the bottom 90 percent. In a more disturbing trend the top 1 percent owned 35 percent of all the personal wealth in 2010. The bottom 50 percent ow … [Read more...]

Climate Change: We Are Responsible (Acts 11:1-18)

By Rev. Jes Kast-Keat.This week people around the country will participate in Earth Day activities. Kids will come home with a tree sapling to plant in their yards. City classrooms will head out on their sidewalk and pick up trash. People will compost and recycle the waste that has gathered. Some of us may gather at rallies celebrating our responsibility in earth care. Others of us will head to lectures where we will hear that “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate … [Read more...]

Chibok Girls: We Will Not Be Quiet, We Will Not Forget

By Rev. Adriene Thorne.“Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing.  But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman. When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said … [Read more...]

Not Just About the Future (Revelation 7:9-17)

By Eric D. Barreto.The presidential race has invited all kinds of rash predictions. “If that candidate gets elected, it will be a disaster.” “If that candidate is president, I will move to Canada.” In each case, the prediction of a future disaster is supposed to convince us to act differently in the present. “The election of a certain candidate would be so awful, that we must stop it. Or I’ll move to Canada.” Key parts of our political discourse are predictions of a dire future if a certa … [Read more...]

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 had been found fairly quickly, but due to the … [Read more...]