Preaching Reflections on Michael Brown and Ferguson

In light of this week's events in Ferguson, Missouri, several of our ON Scripture writers took a few moments to reflect upon what they would/will be preaching on this Sunday. To continue the conversation, join us on Twitter at #onscripture.Eric D. Barreto Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary The last thing a preacher wants to do on a Saturday night is to log into Facebook.I exaggerate, of course, but I found myself scrambling last week when I learned of Michael … [Read more...]

Sacrificing Our Sons and Daughters (Genesis 22:1-14)

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By Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson.A veteran and military spouse speaks about the challenges facing her community."Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you" (Genesis 22:1 NRSV). Was God really directing Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Why?When this text was written, child sacrifices were fairly commonplace. Across ancient cultures, many believed that offering … [Read more...]

Slavery, Surrogacy, and Society: Making a Future in the Wilderness

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By Anathea Portier-Young.Magdalene is a residential program that helps women who have survived lives of violence and prostitution. The 2013 Global Slavery Index reports that nearly 30 million women, children, and men are enslaved around the world today. Their slavery has many forms. For millions, especially women and girls, it is prostitution, forced marriage, or other sexual and reproductive exploitation. Others—an estimated 16.4 million—are forced into labor in spheres ran … [Read more...]

How to Love Like a Mother (John 10:1-10)

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By Anne Sutherland HowardHow one mother who lost a child to gun violence tried to make the world safer for others.In my Santa Barbara, California neighborhood, which we sometimes call “Leave it to Beaver Land” for its seeming serenity and peace, a new practice has become evident. Children no longer walk alone to our neighborhood elementary school. Every morning, a parade of mothers and fathers accompany their children the short distance to school, dogs in tow and cellphones in hand. I … [Read more...]

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

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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 Be Perfect (Matthew 5:38-48)

By Eric D. BarretoThere's more to this year's Olympics than sports.“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Seriously, Jesus? Have you even met some of us? Have you seen the depths of our jealousies, the breadth of our greed? Have you noticed how insatiable our egos are? How deeply insecure we all are?Perfect?You cannot mean what you seem to mean.What then do we do with this seemingly impossible call? For many of us, this is one of those … [Read more...]


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