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This is a story we don't want to hear. But we heard it because the lectionary handed it to us. Don't worry if you've never heard of the lectionary. It's enough to know that in many churches, the Sunday readings follow a three-year cycle. So the last time we heard this story was in 2012. We didn't want to hear the story then either, but this year it sounds even more ominous. When we last heard this story, beheading someone seemed a thing of the past. But now the past is present. We've seen pictures of men in orange jumpsuits, kneeling before they were beheaded. We have felt the anguish of families whose sons were beheaded--aid workers, journalists, 21 Coptic Christians. And there are other people whose names we'll never know, including Iraqi Muslims. Their stories are not in our news.Read full transcript...
What do you do with doubt? The answers to that question are as varied as the history of doubt itself.
So many things can keep us distracted in church. The temperature is too hot or too cold. A child is playing under the pews or in the aisle. An insect is flying about. The cell phone won't stop vibrating and texts and pics won't stop coming.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On July 12, 2015 we will celebrate The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost.
The legendary soul singer, Tina Turner once asked the world, "What's love got to do with it?" For Christians, God's love and our response to God's love, in loving others, makes the world go-round. But how we understand love is critical, and that appears at times to be taking an interpretive turn for the worst.
In these past weeks, I have reflected and been moved to tears about the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act in the midst of what has come to be known as 'the 10 days in June’'. These 10 days also included the SCOTUS ruling on national marriage equality, and the murders and arsons of black churches. As I have reflected on this intense moment of our history I have thought a lot about the covenants that formed this nation – covenants to be a family.
Christine Valters Painter is one of the most creative and visionary of spiritual directors with a meaningful online presence. Her website, Abbey of the Arts, functions as a sort of 'cyber-cloister,' a place of quiet presence and spiritual nurture where participants are invited to encounter God not only through the words and practices of contemplative spirituality, but also — and perhaps more significantly — through creative expression.
According to experts great and small, we’ve lost our ability to disagree. Rather than discuss our differences and stay in conversation with one another, we go on the attack. We belittle, judge, and demonize one another. And, when all else fails, we walk away.
Followers of Christ are to become uninterested in position, prestige, or publicity—even if they are seminary professors.
Tradition, orthodoxy, precedent … all have a nasty habit of changing over time, and thus disappointing those who so vigorously contend that 'God’s word is unchanging.'
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have been studying our use of pronouns in Facebook posts. They discovered that the use of first-person singular pronouns like I and me is higher among younger users. Older folks tend to use more first-person plural pronouns, like we and our.