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

June 24, 2021

Mother Tekoa: Bringing Wisdom By Susannah M. Larry Read 2 Samuel 14:1–24   The summer I turned twenty-one, I lived at an intentional Christian community called Jubilee Partners in Comer, Georgia. Just as I came of age by the weird standards of our culture, I came of age spiritually in that community of Christ followers who were committed to peace and justice. The Jubilee Partners folks were an unconventional group of United States citizens and refugees from around the world that… Read more

June 17, 2021

Vashti: Honoring Herself By Carrie Badertscher Read Esther 1 One hundred and twenty-seven provinces. One hundred and eighty days of feasting and drinking. Seven more days of drinking. The scene is set.  Three years into ruling Persia, King Xerxes—an egocentric king, enthralled with power, position, and possessions—invites dignitaries from far and wide to come and feast and drink in his palace. For 180 days, gold goblets overflow with choice wine, and pomp and splendor are on full display. At the completion of the… Read more

June 8, 2021

Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth: Sustaining Hope By Jess Lyons Read Ruth 1:1–18; 4:13–15; Lamentations 3:16–24; Psalm 107 When all hope is lost, where do we find that elusive little word? In days of pain, disappointment, or grief, we often hear others tell us to “hold onto hope.” Hope is tricky, though. It slips through our fingers. It sneaks away with every loss, every bit of hurt. And yet, it is often the only thing that sustains us. This story in… Read more

June 5, 2021

Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcha, and Tirzah: Seeking Justice By David C. Cramer Read Numbers 27:1–11; Psalm 82 In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus offers various teachings about how to respond to others who have wronged you.  Jesus teaches that those who are persecuted are blessed because their reward is in heaven.  Jesus teaches that, if you recall that someone has something against you, you should immediately seek them out and be reconciled to them.  Jesus teaches that you shouldn’t resist… Read more

May 29, 2021

Shiphrah and Puah: Disobeying Pharaoh By David C. Cramer Read Exodus 1:8–22; Psalm 22 “For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13–14). “You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but… Read more

May 21, 2021

Huldah: Speaking Truth By David C. Cramer Read 2 Kings 22:8–20; 2 Chronicles 34:14–28; Acts 2 This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost. Pentecost, meaning “50,” is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the fiftieth day after Passover. For Christians, it celebrates the day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first believers, fifty days after Easter.  On that day, the apostle Peter quotes the prophet Joel to explain why everyone gathered is able to hear about “the wonderful things God has done” in their… Read more

May 12, 2021

Hagar: Seen by God By Carrie Badertscher Read Genesis 16; 21:8–21 She is a gift from Pharaoh to wealthy nomads. A goat, some sheep, and an immigrant slave girl—all given to Abram and Sarai who are first thought to be brother and sister by Pharaoh, but in reality are husband and wife.  The immigrant slave girl is Hagar. She is an Egyptian whose name in Hebrew means “foreign thing.” Her position and power are restricted by ethnic, class, and gender… Read more

May 8, 2021

Eve: Mother to All By David C. Cramer Read Genesis 1:1–5:2; Galatians 3:10-4:7 I’m 38 years old and have been in church my entire life. By my math, that means I’ve sat through close to 2,000 sermons, including approximately 38 sermons on Mother’s Day. And, yet, I can’t recall ever hearing a sermon extolling the virtue of Eve—and this despite her being called “the mother of all who live.” I’ve heard sermons preached on Eve, but they’re always on temptation, sin, and the… Read more

May 4, 2021

Earlier this year, Bible teacher Beth Moore announced that she had left the Southern Baptist Convention over the ways it elevated and defended an openly misogynistic and abusive national leader in the name of “complementarianism” (the view that men and women have different God-ordained “roles” in the church and home—and sometimes society—with men’s role being to lead and women’s role being to follow). And last month historian Beth Allison Barr published The Making of Biblical Womanhood, which examines how complementarian teaching developed in… Read more

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