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...]

Ordinary Acts of Grace (Luke 3:7-18)

By Eric D. Barreto.Habitat For Humanity NYC enlists volunteers to help rehabilitate old homes and build new homes that will eventually house the working poor in New York City.John the Baptist is an irritant in the midst of Advent.In the Gospel reading for this week in Luke 3:7-18, he is in the wilderness excoriating the crowds who came seeking baptism and repentance and deliverance. “Who warned you…?,” John wants to know. Who told you to come out here? What did you think you would … [Read more...]

John 1:6-8; 19-28: Faith and Fear

By Thomas LongWhen Herman Cain, standing knee-deep in seawater, finally conceded what was obvious to the rest of us, that his once full-steam-ahead presidential campaign had indeed hit an iceberg, he fell back on an ancient political tactic: he blamed the iceberg. “These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned…and in the court of public opinion,” Cain said to his dazed followers, referring to rumors of marital infidelities, “so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this camp … [Read more...]

Mark 13:24-37 – Advent: One of Those Dangerous Religious Ideas

By Matthew L. SkinnerHere comes Black Friday, even earlier than usual. Bell-ringers are appearing outside stores. Advertisers are shifting the consumerism-as-therapy machine into high gear. And Christians say: This is a good time to think about the world falling apart. We’re not trying to be morose. We’re starting Advent. … [Read more...]


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