Moral Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14)

By Adriene Thorne.  Now the United States of America was commander of the free world. She was a great country, in her own sight and in the sight of others, highly regarded, because through her the Lord had given victory. She was a valiant warrior, but she had leprosy. _______________________________________________________My paraphrase of the 2 Kings text this Independence Day weekend captures, for me, the current flavor of our United States of America. It is evident in … [Read more...]

Walter Brueggemann on Wisdom (Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31)

By Walter Brueggemann.This text is one of the loveliest and most important biblical texts that respond to the question: “What is the world like? How does it work?” The text is framed as a speech by “wisdom” who is presented as an active agent who has a voice for self-announcement. It is the work of the poet to bring to availability that which remains hidden but is deeply operative in the working of creation.Wisdom identifies three relationships that are crucial to the working the worl … [Read more...]

Exposing a Government’s Abuse of Power, and Other Life Hacks (Acts 16:16-40)

By Matthew L. Skinner.Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. It’s familiar to many.The story features a culture that treats people like commodities, valuing them only insofar as they produce wealth.It describes a society that closes ranks against outsiders, concluding that foreign people and ideas are detrimental to established values and incompatible with true patriotism.It tells about a system that regards punishment and incarceration as easy solutions, preferring the bl … [Read more...]

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Our Chance to See God (Mark 9:30-37)

By Cari Jackson.Europe is dealing with its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.Since 2011, more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the civil war. Close to 12 million, one-half of the Syrian population of 23 million, have been forced from their homes. More than 4 million have fled. What began as an act of civil protest has continued to expand to civil war, genocide, and mass exodus. It began as protest in response to the arrest and torture of teenagers who wrote revolutionary … [Read more...]

Theological Trackstanding: A User’s Guide to Unity in Church and Society (Ephesians 4:1-16)

By Jacob D. Myers. America’s political divide is growing. Nearly every issue of national concern—from prison to education to tax reform, from healthcare to LGBT rights—has become so polarizing that otherwise civil, intelligent human beings often digress to the level of obdurate toddlers staring down a bowl of broccoli. Even as we jeer at our elected officials who can’t seem to get their acts together, none who have spent any time in a church business meeting should be surprised a … [Read more...]

When War Becomes a Way of Life (2 Samuel 11:1-15)

By Raj Nadella.Victor is one veteran struggling to support his family. It has been intriguing to watch the mixed reaction to the nuclear accord with Iran that can help the United States avoid another major war. The last major war the U.S. fought—the 2003 Iraq war—cost the taxpayers nearly two trillion dollars and about half a trillion in benefits still owed to veterans. More than 4,500 Americans died fighting that war and tens of thousands of veterans and their families continue to live … [Read more...]


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