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...]

The End of Excuses (Luke 9:51-62)

By Karyn L. Wiseman.I’m a news junky and the last few weeks have been intense to say the least. They have been filled with tragic, uplifting, historic, and profound moments. Here are a few:We commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the storming of the beaches on D-Day during World War II and remembered the sacrifice of those brave souls who fought to bring freedom to our world.A woman reached the critical number of delegates to be declared the presumptive nominee of a major p … [Read more...]

Walls: Not in My Backyard (Luke 4:21-30)

By Greg Carey.Lots of our public conversations these days relate to boundaries. In a presidential election year, with seemingly countless candidates and endless debates, it’s hard to avoid the angry voices and fierce scowls.There is so much arguing over boundaries. Should we welcome refugees from Syria, a nation torn by civil war and terrorism? How should our society respond to others who have immigrated here without government approval? Although immigration from our southern border h … [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...]

Immigration: Journey to a New Life (Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22)

By Lisa Nichols Hickman. The faith communities of Laredo, Texas, help immigrants. All too often, Lent is about ‘my’ personal journey to the cross:I’m giving up… My Lenten discipline is… During Lent, I’m trying to…. During Lent, I’m fasting from...But Psalm 107 will have none of that “me, my and I.” Even when attempts are made to live beyond this presumption of self, we still land all too often in our own backyard.  Instead of giving up chocolate, we add compassion on my t … [Read more...]

Dare to Sit With Suffering (Genesis 12:1-4)

By Melissa BrowningPeople weigh in on the morality of aiding refugees and others suffering from natural and man-made crises.Abram left his homeland on a promise and a prayer. God called. Abram went. The Biblical text makes it seem so simple. There are no signs of struggle or doubt. There is no grief over what is left behind, only the forward look toward a new land and a new future. Leaving home for Abram seems so easy.As I reflect on this week’s scripture, I’m in Lebanon lis … [Read more...]