Lost and Found: Depression and Isolation (Luke 15.1-10)

By Karyn L. Wiseman.I went to Junior High and High School in the West Texas community of Andrews. It was a loving and vibrant community where high school football and marching band were important. I was a band geek and loved working with our band director, Jim Harvey. In 1984, Jim and his family went to their usual Colorado vacation spot to spend part of the summer. On July 11, their 14-year-old son, Chris, went for a walk with their dog. He visited with a friend in the trailer park at about … [Read more...]

In God’s Hands (Jeremiah 18:1-11)

By Mihee Kim-Kort. We are living in a world with no shortage of trauma each day. From floods to tsunamis, victims of gun violence and terror, refugees seeking to preserve their lives only to find themselves caught in wars and waves, we are constantly bombarded with the reminders of a relentless suffering experienced by God’s children.Where can we turn to find assurance of God’s loving presence in our midst holding us in caring hands?The words offered to us by Jeremiah in cha … [Read more...]

Why We Can’t Wait (Luke 13:10-17)

By Matthew L. Skinner. Why We Can’t Wait is the familiar title of Martin Luther King Jr.’s book from 1964. The volume includes his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (written April 16, 1963) and makes an argument to recognize 1963 as the beginning of “the Negro Revolution” while extolling the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance.King’s “Letter” issues a call for urgency. He wrote it as a response to eight local white clergymen who had criticized his activities in Birmingham a … [Read more...]

Navigating a World of Division (Luke 12:49-56)

By Greg Carey. In some parts of our country firefighters refer to trees and underbrush as “fuel.” As dry as it gets, especially in parts of California, it only takes a lightning stroke or an electrical spark to set off a raging forest fire.Our cultural moment feels ominous, as if we’re living next to a parched forest. In electoral politics we could scarcely imagine wider dissatisfaction or greater gaps in perception. Our leading presidential candidates have earned unfavorable pol … [Read more...]

Standing With Blue and Black Lives (Luke 12:32-40)

By Karyn L. Wiseman. iPhone or Droid? Right or wrong? Oreos or Chocolate Chips? Left or right? Action Movies or Rom-Coms? Facebook or Twitter? Toilet paper over or under? #BlackLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter?Many folks think that the choices we have before us are simply binary choices; one or the other has to be our position (and truthfully the toilet paper roll placement may be absolute—it’s over, people, over).But we do not have to choose one or the other the way th … [Read more...]

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...]