The Power of Love (Luke 13:10-17)

Paul Lutter

By Paul LutterWe know neither her name nor the location from which she comes. All we know is that she was “a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years,” and that, “[s]he was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight.” (Lk. 13:11) We don’t know from the text exactly what causes this spirit to lash out at this woman. We do know, though, the power of this spirit is to slowly and deliberately destroy this woman’s life. Whether this spirit manifesting its wicked powe … [Read more...]

From Egypt to South Africa, We Are Each Other’s Keepers

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By James W. McCarty IIINelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of South Africa, has been in the hospital for over two months. Nearly twenty years after his election South Africa remains, despite a myriad of troubles, a stable, multiracial, and democratic country.Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president of Egypt after the world-changing protests in Tahrir Square led to the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak, has been out of office, by way of … [Read more...]

The Ballad of Sour Grapes

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By Greg CuéllarMany of life’s memorable moments can be brought to mind just by hearing a favorite song.  Consider Sam Cooke’s protest song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and the ways it evokes the civil rights crisis of the early 1960’s, or John Lennon’s song of peace, “Imagine,” which has as a point of reference the Vietnam War. These and many other songs not only encapsulate moments of the human experience but also give voice to a social critique.Attuned to Social CrisisSpeaking to po … [Read more...]

The Social Shape of Divine Generosity (Luke 12:32-40)

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By Greg CareyIt all sounds so… demanding. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. “Be dressed for action” (NRSV). Imagine yourselves as slaves who remain ready for their master’s return – not knowing when it might come.Luke’s Gospel is big on demanding. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus encounters three would-be disciples. Each receives a warning that would vanquish enthusiasm like an ice-cold shower. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay h … [Read more...]

Colossians 3:1-11: It’s the Name on the Front of the Jersey that Matters

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By David A. Sánchez I have always loved baseball. Growing up on the mean streets of East Los Angeles, baseball was the one activity that kept me away from the pitfalls many young Latino males face on a daily basis. Summer days were spent—sunrise to sunset—in makeshift sandlots in the shadows of Dodger Stadium, fielding bad-hop grounders and striping screaming line drives. It was our neighborhood pastime.On the occasion when enough coins were scraped up to venture into the venerable cath … [Read more...]

The Power of Prayer . . . at the Kmart

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By Rev. Susan Sparks When I want to remind myself of the power of prayer, I go to the Astor Place Kmart on the lower east side of Manhattan. Sure, I could read Kierkegaard or Augustine, but I prefer the Kmart. Specifically I favor an area in the far back corner of the basement. It is devoid of windows or natural light with a back wall of clear glass that faces the dungeon-like dark tunnel of the Number 6 subway train. There, you will find the most unexpected of things -- a plant … [Read more...]


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