August 31, 2021

What is good news and how do we communicate it? David C. Cramer Read Isaiah 40:1–11 Isaiah 40:1–11 is addressed to a people—indeed, to a nation—that is slowly emerging from a prolonged, painful experience of collective trauma. Old Testament scholars observe that verses 1–11 serve as the prologue to the second major unit of Isaiah, chapters 40–55. The first unit of Isaiah, chapters 1–39, speaks words of judgment on Judah for its sin, idolatry, and oppression. This section leads up… Read more

August 29, 2021

Priscilla: Coequal Partner and Pastor By David C. Cramer Read Acts 18 This post concludes our summer series, Fiercely Faithful: Rad Women of Scripture. All summer long, we’ve explored how God is fiercely faithful to women throughout Scripture, and how they each respond with their own kinds of fierce faithfulness in return. We saw how Eve shows faith in God, becoming mother to all the living. Pastor Carrie preached on how Hagar gives God the name “the God who sees.”… Read more

August 9, 2021

Phoebe: Sister, Deacon, Saint, Spiritual Mentor, and Commentator By Timothy Paul Erdel Read Romans 16:1–2 (Originally titled “Phoebe: Four Titles and a Task”) I don’t know how much you think about titles. During this Olympics we may hear phrases such as “Olympic Champion” or “The World’s Fastest” or “The World’s Greatest.” The Middle Ages was fascinated by aristocratic titles, and C. S. Lewis had some fun with that when he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia. Remember Peter’s challenge to cruel… Read more

August 5, 2021

The Syrophoenician Woman: Speaking Boldly By David C. Cramer Read Mark 7:24–30 There’s an ancient piece of wisdom, passed down to children and children’s children from generation to generation. And that wisdom is this: If ever you don’t know the answer in Sunday school, just say Jesus! Because Jesus is the answer, Jesus is—more often than not—quite literally the answer. Who wants to be your friend? Jesus! Who’s the savior of the whole world? Jesus! This holds true even if… Read more

July 31, 2021

Mother Mary: Undaunted Faith By David C. Cramer Read Luke 1:26–56 Growing up as an evangelical in the South Bend area was an interesting experiment in compartmentalization. On the one hand, as evangelicals, we were deeply suspicious of Catholicism. We thought Catholics were works based, superstitious, ritualistic, and hypocritical. On the other hand, as South Benders, we loved Notre Dame football. We loved their work ethic, superstitions, and rituals! So I guess you could say that we were the hypocritical ones…. Read more

July 24, 2021

People sometimes think that because I’m a pastor, editor, and theologian, I must spend a lot of time reading. The reality is that, because I’m those three things at once, I have precious little time to read outside of work. So when I do read, I want it to be worth it. This means that I’m often doing triage with the books I read: Is this relevant to my teaching or ministry? Does it represent a perspective I don’t often… Read more

July 21, 2021

Mary and Martha: Brave FriendsBy Jess LyonsRead Luke 10:38–42; John 11:1–44At first glance, the story of Mary and Martha is simple and straightforward. Many of us are familiar with Luke’s account of these women. Don’t be a busy Martha, always fussing and “doing” for Jesus. Instead, be like Mary. Sit with Jesus, listen, recognize that only “one thing is needed.”Do a quick Google search using the words “Mary and Martha,” and you’ll find sermons focused solely on devotion over performance. You’ll… Read more

July 16, 2021

Junia: Outstanding Apostle By Drew StraitRead Romans 16:1–7; Acts 2:14–21In her TED talk, titled, “The Danger of a Single Story,” the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about the power of story and literature to shape how we think about our lives. She recalls growing up in Nigeria reading British novels with blonde haired, blue eyed children who drank ginger beer. When Adichie started writing her first stories as a child, she found herself writing exclusively about blond haired, blue eyed… Read more

July 8, 2021

Woman with a Flow of Blood: Seeking Wholeness By Janet Abai Read Mark 5:25–34 We see a woman who is enslaved by affliction but decides to look beyond that barrier to healing. Her slave master, bleeding, is brutal to her. This owner has led her to into “enduring much at the hands of many physicians” (Mark 5:26). This slave master has brought pain and penury as her co-owners. These deadly companions have owned and ruled her for twelve years. While… Read more

July 1, 2021

The Samaritan Woman: Surprising Witness By Carrie Badertscher Read John 4:1–42 The sun is hot. It is high noon in Samaria, a place that frequently experiences droughts but has no rivers. No moving, fresh water to dip your toes in or find refreshment for your parched, sun chapped lips. Jesus, tired and weary from a long walk, and a Samaritan woman, tired and weary from life, find themselves at the same well, Jacob’s well in the Village of Sychar. A… Read more

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