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...]

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...]

How to Survive the Sequester, Syria, and Other Threatening Headlines (Luke 13:1-9)

By Matthew L. SkinnerCurrent events, like much about our lives, frequently leave us hopeless, fearful, and uncertain. Religious faith isn’t a matter of wishing away these experiences; it involves perceiving God in the midst of our hardships.I still remember one Friday night when I, an overly sensitive preteen, made a conscious decision to stop watching the nightly news with the rest of my family. I found what I saw too depressing and threatening: crime after crime, yet another house f … [Read more...]