Good Samaritans All Around

Eric_Barreto2

By Eric D. BarretoThe story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is so familiar that to some it probably starts to verge on a cliché. Even people who have never read the Bible, let alone the Gospel of Luke, know the image of compassion embodied by the Samaritan who takes the risk to help a stranger in the midst of great trouble. In fact, the notion of a “Good Samaritan” has a cultural cache almost entirely separate from the term’s biblical origins.However, despite many repetitions and r … [Read more...]

Psalm 1: Putting Evil in Its Place

By Dr. Amy EricksonPsalm 1 begins and ends in a way that puts a lot people off, particularly those who are less-than-compelled by fire and brimstone preaching: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread” (v 1) and “the Lord watches over the way of the righteous but the way of the wicked will perish” (v 6).It sounds like the psalm advocates - not only name-calling - but also a clean drawing of lines between believers and non-believers o … [Read more...]

Beyond Fear and Silence: Mark 16:1-8

By Barbara K. LundbladThis story leaves us wondering and longing for more. Mark’s Easter gospel (Mark 16: 1-8) ends with silence rather than “Alleluia!” That wasn’t the word the women said at the end of their long night of waiting. That’s not what they said when the Sabbath was over as they made their way to the tomb. They had been there on Friday when Jesus died and the sky turned dark at midday. Mark remembers all three women by name: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. … [Read more...]

John 3:14-21: Bouncers and the “In” Crowd

By Rev. Margaret AymerWho's in? Who's out? Groups that are trying to protect themselves focus heavily on this question, particularly in times of conflict and controversy. They may have great ideals about welcoming all comers, but those who approach, thinking the doors are wide open can find criteria for entry magically appear like a velvet rope at the entrance to an exclusive club. Of course, part of the argument, implicitly or explicitly, is that those who do not meet the established … [Read more...]


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