How Long, Oh Lord? Praying Without Ceasing for Justice (Luke 11:1-13)

By Onleilove Alston. As I looked through my Facebook newsfeed I saw many of my African-American friends asking, “How long, oh Lord?” This question is not just one we asked after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were added to our great cloud of witnesses as the latest victims of racial violence, but this is a question our parents, grandparents, and generations have asked as they faced oppression.Police killed at least 136 black people in 2016, according to The Guardian’s projec … [Read more...]

Death, Injustice, and a Basket of Fruit (Amos 8:1-12)

By Melissa Browning.Things aren’t always what they seem. Like that time God sent Amos a fruit basket. It was a tricky move. Generally speaking, a fruit basket is a wonderful, cheerful gift. Strawberries, blueberries, plums – or in Amos’ case, ripe figs. Everybody loves summer fruit. It reminds us of picnics, and parks, and cookouts with friends. But when God sent Amos a fruit basket, it came with a foreboding little note that proclaimed the end of the world.This “dresser of sycamore t … [Read more...]

Finding a Deeper Truth Together (Luke 22:14–23:56)

By Sister Simone Campbell.The story of Jesus’ passion and death has stirred my imagination since I was a child. In an act of profound mystery, Jesus walks toward the conflict swirling around him. Jesus accepts his arrest and does not raise his voice. His willingness to embrace the consequences of truth telling leaves him silent in the face of his accusers. His judges repeatedly say they can find no fault in this man, but the people want more. They want someone to blame.It makes me t … [Read more...]

Jesus, Justice-Fatigue, and Why Being Black Is Exhausting (John 12:1-8)

By Billy Honor.Several days ago I was asked by a local news reporter what my response was to the report that Donald Trump, the leading vote getter in the Republican Presidential primary, waffled on whether or not to denounce the support of widely known White Supremacist David Duke.  Normally, it would have taken me seconds to get on my rhetorical high horse and rattle off a list of reasons why I found this deplorable yet not surprising given the current public resurgence of white … [Read more...]

A Covenant of Neighborly Justice: Break the Chains of Quid Pro Quo (Isaiah 55:1-9)

By Walter Brueggemann.In this season of Lent, this text of summons may be a sobering one for us. In this election season amid shrill or buoyant rhetoric, we may not notice that there real choices to be made, even as Jews in ancient Babylon were confronted with real choices of a most elemental kind.These verses are addressed to elite Israelites who had been forcibly deported to Babylon when Jerusalem had been destroyed. While these deported elites yearned for a return to Jerusalem, it … [Read more...]

Tamir Rice and the Anguish of Our National Sin (Nehemiah 8:1-10)

By Robert Williamson.On December 28, just before New Year’s Day, a Cleveland grand jury declined to indict the officers who killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who had been playing with a toy gun in a park near his home. For many, the news resounded as yet one more tragic refrain in the long litany of our nation’s utter disregard for Black lives. Extinguished in the innocence of childhood, without even a second thought.America’s history of white supremacy stretches back to the very f … [Read more...]


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