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...]

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...]

All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice

By Eric D. Barreto.Rev. Dr. James Forbes reflects on racism. Weariness is the constant companion of those who seek justice. A year punctuated with tragedies around racial inequalities culminated in a burst of hateful violence during a Wednesday evening Bible study at the Mother Emanuel church. And as these nine faithful souls have been laid to rest, I have been struck by a refrain that many of my friends have been voicing. I’m tired, they say. I’m growing weary of fighting these same fig … [Read more...]

Sorry, Presidential Candidates: Hope Resides in Groans, Not In Your Rhetoric (Romans 8:22-27)

By Matthew L. Skinner.We asked people about the upcoming 2016  presidential election. Hope Votes It’s election season. Hold your groans, but I’m obliged to point out that the 2016 US presidential campaign is gathering momentum. Please, make it stop. So far, eight men and women from the two major parties have formally declared their candidacy. Actually, eight is the number of candidates whose names you might know. There are others. And even more will declare their intentions soon … [Read more...]

It’s Time Again: Depression and the Holidays (Isaiah 64:1-9)

By Barbara Lundblad.Depression hits Americans hard during the holidays. What time is it? Don’t check your watch. This is something else all together. We know it will soon be the end of November and the end of Thanksgiving weekend. In the Christian calendar, it’s the beginning of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas. For many people, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a tough time to get through. There are too many reminders of loss:the empty chair at the Tha … [Read more...]