Shrewd Christians (Luke 16:1-13)

VerityJones

By Verity A. JonesWe worry now, but we’ve been concerned about the economy for a long time. The economic recovery from the recession in America has been slower than we hoped, and people continue to suffer from the collapse of so many industries and jobs and safety nets.  Much of the pain seems new for large swaths of the American population. But in reality, we’ve been worrying about money forever.The August employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a slight decline i … [Read more...]

It’s Not About You (Luke 14:25-33)

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By John NunesA life transition—like any effort to follow Jesus—is stressful: packing and unpacking, bidding farewells, refocusing from one set of commitments to a new future. It might be summarized in the early North African church leader’s interpretation of this Sunday’s Gospel reading from Luke 14:27: “Take up your stress and your tortures.” (Tertullian)This September, my family’s transition from the hazy days of summer’s more casual pace back into the back-to-school rat race is tou … [Read more...]

The Ballad of Sour Grapes

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By Greg CuéllarMany of life’s memorable moments can be brought to mind just by hearing a favorite song.  Consider Sam Cooke’s protest song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and the ways it evokes the civil rights crisis of the early 1960’s, or John Lennon’s song of peace, “Imagine,” which has as a point of reference the Vietnam War. These and many other songs not only encapsulate moments of the human experience but also give voice to a social critique.Attuned to Social CrisisSpeaking to po … [Read more...]

Mary and Martha: Use Your Gifts, Whatever They May Be

 By Sister Carol Perry On a Sunny Afternoon It is a lovely late afternoon in the little village of Bethany on a hilltop outside Jerusalem.  This is a delightful place to visit because it offers a breeze above the valley.  But Jesus stops here often for more than that.  He knows he has friends in the persons of Martha and her siblings, Mary and Lazarus.This day, as the family of Bethany looks down the road, they see Jesus and some of his disciples approaching.  They know there will be time f … [Read more...]

Mark 1:14-20: A Call Worthy of Their Lives

By Greg CareyReaders almost always gravitate to the same question. Why do Simon and Andrew, then James and John after them, abandon everything to follow Jesus? Mark leaves no doubt as to the immediacy of their response. Seeing Simon and Andrew casting for fish, Jesus says, “Follow after me, and I will make you to be fishers for people.” And immediately, Mark emphasizes, they leave their nets and follow Jesus. Likewise, Jesus immediately calls James and John while they are mending their net … [Read more...]

Luke 2:1-20 – The “Real” War on Christmas?

By Eric BarrettoOur culture today is full of laments about the Christmas holiday.Some bemoan the ever earlier advent of the season. Doesn’t it seem that Christmas decorations line the aisles of stores earlier and earlier every year? Doesn’t it seem that Christmas songs are piped into elevators earlier and earlier every year? Doesn’t it seem as if all the fall holidays are melding into one long anticipation of Christmas? Before long, we might wonder if Labor Day will one day mark the end o … [Read more...]


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