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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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ON Scripture: The Bible™ ON Scripture: The Bible is a weekly lectionary based reflection written by an outstanding scholar, who focuses on a text from the Revised Common Lectionary with a supportive video presentation for preachers, teachers, and lay persons.

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Odyssey Networks

ON Scripture: The Bible

Odyssey Networks

 

ON Scripture - The BibleTM is a multimedia resource for clergy, lay leaders and anyone interested in exploring the relationship between the Bible and our lives today. Every week leading scholars and preaching experts engage the lectionary through the lens of current issues, creating meaningful links between the Word and the world.

Through a unique combination of video and commentary, ON Scripture - The BibleTM covers issues of economic inequality, immigration, civil rights, the environment, and more. People of all denominations and faiths can enjoy ON Scripture - The BibleTM through our online partnerships with The Huffington Post, Sojourners, Day1 and Patheos.

Please, feel free to use ON Scripture - The BibleTM in sermons, preaching, Bible study & any other non-commercial environment. If you have used ON Scripture - The BibleTM, we would love to know what you thought about it! Please e-mail esullivan [at] odysseynetworks [dot] org with your feedback and questions.

 


Latest Content by ON Scripture: The Bible™

ON Scripture: The Bible™

ON Scripture Comes to an End

ON Scripture: The Bible

For the past six years ON Scripture - The Bible has brought the insights of our prophetic texts to illuminate our understanding of current events, specifically around issues of social justice. We have strived to be a resource that provides insight into key issues through a unique combination of video, Scripture, and astute biblical commentary. We are proud of all that we have accomplished and appreciative that you were part of this journey. However, after much consideration we have decided that on October 1st we will be winding down ON Scripture as we look to new ways to make Scripture relevant and accessible.

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ON Scripture: The Bible™

ON Scripture: Downward Dog: Finding God in a Dog (Philippians 2:1-13) By Melissa Tidwell

ON Scripture: The Bible

 

Downward Dog: Finding God in a Dog (Philippians 2:1-13)

By Melissa Tidwell

 

We didn't have dogs in my family-we were cat people-so it was not until I was an adult that I first fell for a dog. Lucy, a Golden Retriever who came to live at my house was the one who changed my heart.  She seemed gentler than other dogs I had been around. We invented our own particular game of catch that had all kinds of special rules and dispensations for squirrel encroachment and slobber abatement. I loved that dog and could never bring myself to follow the somewhat clinical advice of the dog training book to dominate her for her own good, to make sure I was always the pack leader.

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Other Recent Content by ON Scripture: The Bible™

ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 18, 2017

ON Scripture: Imagining Economic Justice (Matthew 20:1-16) By Thomas G. Long

ON Scripture: The Bible

Every day at 3:00 a.m., the men who have slept on the floor of the Border Farmworkers Center in El Paso rouse themselves from sleep. Soon the busses from the farms growing chiles and peppers in New Mexico will rattle into the parking lot. The overseers will step off the buses and look over the crowd of men hoping to work in the fields. Those who appear young, strong, and able will be summoned to get on the bus, while others will be left behind, hoping that another bus will soon arrive needing laborers.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 11, 2017

ON Scripture: The Internet Troll vs. the Inner Toll (Romans 14:1-14) By Alicia Johnston

ON Scripture: The Bible

Allow me to begin with a confession. Sometimes I enjoy being trolled online. The pleasure inevitably turns bitter, but before that happens, on a bright morning after a nice cup of coffee, it can be quite pleasurable to indulge in a bit of self-righteousness. What better way to demonstrate to the world my superior patience, love, and care than the easy target of a hateful internet troll?
The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV Article

September 05, 2017

ON Scripture: Gathering to Resolve Hate (Matthew 18:15-20) By The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV

The Rev. Robert Lee

When I picture what God looks like, I picture Bertha Hamilton. Mother Bertha as she is known at her church is on staff at the hospital where my mom works. Mrs. Bertha has worked with my mother for some 30 years and was my confirmation mentor. Mrs. Bertha is also a person of color and has deeply influenced the way I look at race and the cost of discipleship.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 28, 2017

ON Scripture: Burning Bush to Boston Common: You Are Standing on Holy Ground (Exodus 3:1-15) by Rev. Jim Keat

ON Scripture: The Bible

Take off your shoes. No, I really mean it. Right now. Stop what you’re doing. Put down your phone, turn away from your computer screen. Loosen your laces, step out of your sandals, and free your feet from wherever they are currently confined. Shoes off? Ok, now keep reading.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 21, 2017

ON Scripture: To Be A Rock in a World Adrift (Matthew 16:13-20) By Karyn L. Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

I believe we’re called to be Peters in the world. Proclaiming our belief in God. Calling each other to faithful discipleship. Being supportive and loving is what we are called to do. Holding each other up and encouraging one another is part of our job as Jesus followers. Supporting the last, the least, the lost, and the left behind is our mission.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 14, 2017

UPDATED! ON Scripture: Jesus is Woke; We Should be Too Matthew 15: 10-28 The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

ON Scripture: The Bible

If I were Jesus’ public relations expert, I would not have included today’s text in scripture. Jesus does not look good here. Jesus has just told the Pharisees and Scribes that what defiles a person is what comes out of their mouth (Matthew 15: 10-11). And what does he go ahead and do? He says a pretty ethnocentric thing to a woman looking for his help.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 09, 2017

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Would Jesus Oppose Immigration? Johnny Ramirez-Johnson

ON Scripture: The Bible

Jonah the Jew was a racist bigot against the Nineveh inhabitants, he happened to also be a prophet called by God to help the very people he despised, and he succeeded. I believe we need to read Jonah’s reasoning to understand the difference in logic.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 07, 2017

ON Scripture: Fútbol es Vida and Football is Death: Qatar 2022 By David Sanchez

ON Scripture: The Bible

How does Joseph’s divine vindication measure up to those lived realities when God is silent? How do we endure at times when God is silent in our own lives and in the multiple historic events where evil surely has prevailed over justice? Why is Joseph vindicated when others like Job get the combative God of the whirlwind?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 31, 2017

ON Scripture: Jesus and The Poor People’s Campaign (Matthew 14:13-21) By Liz Theoharis

ON Scripture: The Bible

Just like poverty stunted the lives of the people of Jesus’ day, poverty destroys, hampers, circumscribes the lives of millions of God’s children in our day. 1 in 2 people living in the United States are poor or low-income; 43% of US children live in families that struggle to feed, clothe and house them.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 24, 2017

ON Scripture: Kingdom Come (Undone): When the Most Christian States Are Also The Poorest (Matthew 13:31-33,44-52) By Joe Wiinikka-Lydon

ON Scripture: The Bible

If you ask Christians in a state like Alabama, which I have, you will hear that Christianity is the solution to most of life’s problems. It is a religion of peace, a religion of love. How can there be such suffering if, as Romans 8:27 argues, 'the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God?'
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 17, 2017

ON Scripture: GODISNOWHERE (Genesis 28:10-19a) By Jim Keat

ON Scripture: The Bible

You’ve probably seen it before: GODISNOWHERE. Depending on how you look at this combination of letters, one of two phrases will stand out. In times of distress and despair, bombarded by breaking news and confronted with the chaos of life, our first glance can easily read GOD-IS-NOWHERE. And in moments of safety and solidarity, when we find ourselves connected to something bigger than our own being, we might be able to see GOD-IS-NOW-HERE.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 10, 2017

ON Scripture: The Seeds of Inclusion (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) By Mihee Kim-Kort

ON Scripture: The Bible

For the listeners gathered together with the disciples in Matthew’s Gospel, as well as those who would later receive these testimonies in the seedling of a church community, an agricultural sensibility was part and parcel of their daily lives. It informed their storytelling. As soon as Jesus says the word, 'a sower,' his audience tracks with him.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 03, 2017

ON Scripture: The Law’s Fracture Lines (Romans 7:15-25a) By Christopher T. Holmes

ON Scripture: The Bible

It has been a few weeks since the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted a resolution condemning white supremacy at its annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ. But it wasn’t easy.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 26, 2017

ON Scripture: Risky Business: Jesus’ Perilous Welcome (Matthew 10:40-42) By Marcia Mount Shoop

ON Scripture: The Bible

The writer of Matthew’s gospel knew how to adapt old wisdom to new situations. Jesus translates a prophetic and practical word for all disciples across situations, even across centuries and cultures. His is a message is for everyone: the 'righteous' (for Matthew probably highly esteemed Jesus followers), and even the “little ones” (for Matthew probably your everyday run-of-the-mill Christians who didn’t hold a church office).
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 19, 2017

ON Scripture: Christ and the Paris Climate Accord (Romans 6:1-11) By Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colglazier

ON Scripture: The Bible

Every now and then a Bible passage lends itself to radically diverse, if not contradictory, interpretations. I feel that way about our lection of Romans 6:1b-11. I am drawn to this passage because it appeals to my need for inner mystical experience. Paul imagines an inner relationship with Christ, that we are united with him in our baptism, and in fact we are so aligned with Christ that we share in the rhythm of his dying and rising. This means there is nothing outside the realm of the presence of Christ.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 12, 2017

ON Scripture: Compassion that Moves! (Matthew 9:35-10:8) By Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith

ON Scripture: The Bible

Compassion. I am not always sure Christians understand the full weight and work of its meaning. I remember growing up hearing the phrase 'moved to compassion' touted in church and family conversations. As my childhood experiences revealed, compassion is often described as a state of being or feeling in which something has occurred to move someone to feel sympathy, empathy, perhaps even pity for someone or something else.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 05, 2017

ON Scripture: How to Love Power (Matthew 28:16-20) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

American politics have always been a struggle among the powerful. First, it was white male landowners who determined the way, their owning of lands and peoples not just symbols of their powers but validations of it too. But slowly—far too slowly—and unevenly—far too unevenly—the promise (if not the full realities) of democratic power has been shared and expanded first to white women and then to African Americans.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 29, 2017

ON Scripture: My Struggle with Pentecost as the Church’s Vacation Home Not its Residence (Acts 2:1-21) By Billy Honor

ON Scripture: The Bible

Here we are, 7 weeks after Easter, observing Pentecost (the Christian celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension) once again. But what does Pentecost really mean for us today? And why should it even matter?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 22, 2017

ON Scripture: Moral Injury - the Devil that Looks to Devour (1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11) By Brian Powers

ON Scripture: The Bible

In the earliest parts of my military training, I recall being taught that Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans’ Day because it remembers those who have made 'the ultimate sacrifice,' having died in the service of our country. Veterans’ Day, by contrast, celebrates those who have survived the conflicts and returned to civilian life. Trauma researchers might argue that this line is not as clear as it may seem.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 15, 2017

ON Scripture: Mansplaining Jesus: Why Religion Cannot Be Merely Explained (Acts 17:22-31) By David Lewicki

ON Scripture: The Bible

Christianity is a way of life, not an idea. It’s neither a philosophical system, nor a coherent constellation of abstract beliefs. Christianity is a pattern of daily actions, a network of vital relationships, a set of practices, an expression of daily desire that mirrors God’s own. Christianity is not theology. It is not words. It cannot be spoken. It’s agape, in human flesh.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 08, 2017

ON Scripture: The Many Rooms of God (John 14: 1-14) By Karyn L Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

The news of the world with its conflicts between racial, ethnic and political groups affects us not just on a global level but often on an interpersonal level as we go about our daily living.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 01, 2017

ON Scripture: A Radical Ethic of Love (Acts 2:42-47) By Shane Claiborne

ON Scripture: The Bible

One of the first things that happened as the Church was born that first Pentecost 2000 years ago… is that they started sharing everything they had. They worshipped in their homes. The Gospel was lived out of dinner tables and living rooms. And just as amazing as speaking in tongues, was this: THEY SHARED.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 24, 2017

ON Scripture: Living as Sojourners in a Strange Land (1 Peter 1:17-23) By Onleilove Alston

ON Scripture: The Bible

In our Scripture passage, Peter encourages us to live our time here as sojourners with reverent fear, remembering the sacrifice that was made for us. What does it mean to be a sojourner? It means that you are temporarily traveling through a place and as people of faith we must remember that we are temporary residents of our respective countries because we are permanent residents of the Kingdom of God.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 17, 2017

ON Scripture: Wounded Resurrection: The Body of Christ for the Body of Earth (John 20:19-31) By William P. Brown

ON Scripture: The Bible

The gap continues to widen between liberals and conservatives regarding the distressing reality of climate change. It is perplexing, given that science continues to confirm humanity’s central role in effecting global warming. It is even more perplexing that greater familiarity with science does not guarantee a greater sense of urgency as evidenced in recent research.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 10, 2017

ON Scripture: Only women should speak on Easter Sundays! (John 20:1-18) By Cláudio Carvalhaes

ON Scripture: The Bible

It’s resurrection Sunday. However, while Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, life out of death, this resurrection isn’t yet a reality for the vast majority of the world.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 03, 2017

ON Scripture: Christianity’s First Hate Crime (Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-11 (1-4), Matthew 26, 27) By Wendy Farley

ON Scripture: The Bible

The news these days suggests we are experiencing a rebirth – not of freedom – but of hatred and anxiety in our country. God created the world and loves humanity. Nothing, no person, no religion, no race, no ecosystem, no nation, no blade of grass was made without Word, Wisdom, Love. Humanity is all one in the eye of the divine, as a river is one though made of many countless drops of water.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 27, 2017

ON Scripture: When Trauma Victims Teach Us About Hope (John 11:1-45) By Rev. Dr. Storm Swain

ON Scripture: The Bible

As we enter into John’s Gospel, we are standing some way off from the tomb. The air of grief is all around. The family has returned home to a place that looks the same but is empty because their loved one is gone. People are gathered around to grieve, support, console and to say Kaddish. And into this Jesus walks.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 20, 2017

ON Scripture: ulnerability: The Gift Not Fully Valued (John 9:1-41) By Amy Julia Becker

ON Scripture: The Bible

The history of people with disabilities in the United States follows a similar course. People with both physical and intellectual disabilities have been denied access to health care and education and even spiritual care for centuries. They have experienced physical suffering and social isolation. The general population has suffered the loss of their presence among us, even if we have failed to notice their absence.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 13, 2017

ON Scripture: The Nasty Woman Who Persisted: The Samaritan Woman of John 4 (John 4:5-42) By Jaime Clark-Soles

ON Scripture: The Bible

This is a story about crossing borders of various kinds. It’s a story about a strong woman (who may not have felt strong) surviving and even thriving in a society that privileged male power. It’s about a woman who lived the International Women’s Day theme-- #BeBoldForChange.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 06, 2017

ON Scripture: A Holy Visitation (Matthew 17:1-9, John 3:1-17) By Rev. Cassandra A. Henderson

ON Scripture: The Bible

It almost seems contrary to consider the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-9 as part of the journey in Lent. How does God’s breaking through time to reveal the prophets of old, Moses and Elijah connect to the solitude of Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 27, 2017

ON Scripture: It’s Been 40 Days: How to Resist the Temptation of Injustice and Intolerance (Matthew 4:1-11) By Karyn L Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

In our text for this week, Jesus is in the wilderness preparing for the role he is about to undertake through his public ministry. He is alone but is visited by Satan as a three-fold test --which is a more accurate translation than what we understand as temptation.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 20, 2017

ON Scripture: A God of Second Chances (2 Peter 1:16-21) By Melissa Browning

ON Scripture: The Bible

The stories of wicked kings are not hard to find when we turn to scripture. After the Exodus, God creates a covenant with the people to rule as king from above. Moses went up to the mountain to receive God’s law and to establish God’s priestly kingdom with Israel. But it turned out that the people of Israel were not the best followers.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 13, 2017

ON Scripture: Are We Safer Now? Security and Mercy in God’s Law (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18) By Johnny Ramirez-Johnson

ON Scripture: The Bible

How would you feel today if you learned that your neighbor is a refugee from Syria? The concerns about security (i.e. the measurements we take to arrive at a place of safety) have become central to our daily life; we (all Americans) have banned Syrian refugees from entering the USA. The Statue of Liberty has nothing for them, they are a threat to our security. Are we safer now? True safety comes from abiding in God not in banning our neighbors in need; do we believe this?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 06, 2017

ON Scripture: Saving the Soul of Our Nation (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, I Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37) By Rev. Dr. James Forbes

ON Scripture: The Bible

Our nation has a right to expect faith communities to provide vision, vitality, meaning, purpose, responsibility toward each other, respect and care for our planet, as well as accountability and trust in God who is the creator of us all. Lukewarm and lackluster religion will not be able to address the demands of these troubling times of polarization, destabilization and lightning speed change.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 30, 2017

ON Scripture: Too Much Salt or Not Enough? What Jesus Says About Americans and Their Super Bowl (Matt. 5:13-20, Isa. 58:1-9) By Barbara K. Lundblad

ON Scripture: The Bible

As we head into Super Bowl weekend, Barbara Lundblad says Jesus chose two images on purpose. To be salt and light means to be shaped by the ancient, life-giving law of God.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 23, 2017

ON Scripture: Rise Up! (Micah 6:1-8) By Roger S. Nam

ON Scripture: The Bible

The prophet Micah lived during a time of political turmoil and transition. Sound familiar?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 16, 2017

ON Scripture: Trump’s Inauguration and Conflicted Hope in a Divided Christianity (Isaiah 9:1-4) By The Rev. Billy Honor

ON Scripture: The Bible

The nation of Israel was in a time of looming war and destruction, darkness and gloom (Isaiah chapter 8). As a result, the people were divided and uncertain about the future and searching for answers. This was the period of time somewhere around the end of the reign of King Ahaz when the Isaiah prophesied that the coming of a new messiah or divine leader was near.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 09, 2017

ON Scripture: Work, Identity, and God's Beloved (John 1:29-42) By Mihee Kim-Kort

ON Scripture: The Bible

For many Christians, baptism signals a new beginning, and a clean slate for life. It is also entrance into the Christian faith and participation in the work of the community. Likewise, Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan marked not only the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, but his identity as God’s son.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 02, 2017

ON Scripture: Baptism and Hope for the New Year (Matthew 3:13-17) By Jim Kast-Keat

ON Scripture: The Bible

Every baptism is an image of beauty in the midst of chaos, recalling the chaotic waters of creation and the Spirit of God hovering over the Tehom to call forth beauty in her midst. Every baptism is a reminder of liberation from exile, the waters parting as we walk out of bondage and into hope.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 26, 2016

ON Scripture: Selfie Culture and True Community (Isaiah 63:7-9) By Walter Brueggemann

ON Scripture: The Bible

Even at Christmas we do well to linger over this poem. We do well to linger over 'days of old' that have been filled with divine fidelity and generosity; we do well to linger over many days filled with recalcitrance.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 20, 2016

ON Scripture: Revelation of Light (Luke 2:1-14, John 1: 1-14) By Lisa Sharon Harper

ON Scripture: The Bible

John talks of light and darkness—a direct reference to the Hebrew story of creation—a story written down by a company of priests exiting 70 years of Babylonian enslavement and oppression.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 12, 2016

ON Scripture: Signs Endure (Isaiah 7:10-16, Matthew 1:18-25, Romans 1:1-7) By Rev. Julian DeShazier

ON Scripture: The Bible

This week’s three texts – found in Isaiah, Matthew, and Romans – each tell us something true about signs and society. But first, a primer on signs. Like, actual signs.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 05, 2016

ON Scripture: Groaning without Grumbling Against One Another (James 5:7-10) By Dr. Christopher T. Holmes

ON Scripture: The Bible

Our lectionary text for this third Sunday of Advent may strike some as somewhat jarring. For many, Advent is oriented to the past. We remember God’s decisive arrival on earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Our expectations for Advent are the sorts of things that make up nativity sets: a doting mother covered with light, angels singing in heaven, shepherds and their sheep, foreign travelers with their gifts.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 28, 2016

ON Scripture: Voices in the Wilderness (Matthew 3:1-12) By Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith

ON Scripture: The Bible

John the Baptist, a Jew, 'appears,' almost out of thin air in the wilderness of Judea as one with no material wealth and luxury to his name (Matt 3:4). By all appearances, he is a 'have not' with a public and prophetic message for his Jewish kindred representing a spectrum of social and political outlooks.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 21, 2016

ON Scripture: Prophetic Resistance (Isaiah 2:1-5) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

Hatred is bubbling up among the cracks of division among us. Ideologies many of us had hoped were dormant in our body politic have returned with a roar. And we can’t be sure what comes next. For some of us, the fear we feel is not just uncertainty, but the realization that our bodies continue to be the object of so much vitriol and scapegoating
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 14, 2016

ON Scripture: On Guard for Wolves in Shepherd’s Clothing (Jeremiah 23:1-6) By Rev. Keith Anderson - UPDATED

ON Scripture: The Bible

Much of the focus of the election had been on leadership, temperament, experience, and fitness to lead the country. And already, in the hours and days following the election, political pundits are speculating on what kind of president Trump will be.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 07, 2016

ON Scripture: Making Justice in the Midst of Chaos (Isaiah 65:17-25) By Onleilove Alston

ON Scripture: The Bible

This election cycle has uncovered the racism, sexism and nativism that has always been present in American society but was hidden under the covers of political correctness and multiculturalism. For many of us Election Day and what happens after fills us with dread and frankly I would categorize this election cycle as one word--chaotic.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 31, 2016

ON Scripture: A Work in Progress (Haggai 1:15b-2:9) By The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

ON Scripture: The Bible

As we stand on the precipice of a new presidential administration; as the discourse in the public square is mired in vitriol and violence; as the lack of value of the lives of Black folk, immigrant folk, and queer folk is plainly demonstrated by the piling-up of dead bodies...we are asking the prophetic question, 'How long, O God?'
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 24, 2016

ON Scripture: From A Tree To A Throne: The Story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) By Johnny Ramirez-Johnson

ON Scripture: The Bible

How would you feel today if you discovered that the credit card and bank account with all the fees involved you have been paying for some time, after all, was not opened by your spouse, it was a fraud committed by employees of Wells Fargo Bank? Experiencing being taken advantage of is not fun, it’s a bummer! In every neighborhood of Palestine they had their local abuser in situ. They were called Tax Collectors.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 17, 2016

ON Scripture: Election Confession: Divided We Stand (Luke 18:9-14) By Casey FitzGerald

ON Scripture: The Bible

How did we get here? How did we become so callous, so angry, so unable to see each other? How did we become so divided? Who benefits from this division? Into this divided and often vitriolic atmosphere comes the gospel of Luke and the stories of Jesus.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 10, 2016

ON Scripture: No Justice, No Peace (Luke 18:1-8) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

Injustice and human misery offend the conviction that God is merciful, loving, and powerful. For a long time, therefore, the patterns of systemic injustice have gnawed at people of faith (even as such people remain complicit in the systems).
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 03, 2016

ON Scripture: Except This Foreigner (Luke 17:11-19) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

If Jesus’s words never strike me as strange, if Jesus’s words never cause me some sense of unrest, if Jesus’s words never trouble me, then I can be sure of one thing: I can be sure that I am missing something important.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 26, 2016

ON Scripture: Ah, Jesus, I Get it Now! (Luke 17:5-10) by the Rev. Jacqui Lewis

ON Scripture: The Bible

 

No wonder we don't talk about verses 7-10 of this text. Faith the size of a mustard seed. Great. Love it. Tiny seed. Lofty idea. Preachable. Even tweetable.

 

ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 19, 2016

ON Scripture: Hope: The Call To Action (Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15) By Valerie Bridgeman

ON Scripture: The Bible

I have watched with dread as a drama plays out in North Dakota. Thousands of Native Americans and their co-conspirators have taken a stand to try to stop the company, ironically named Dakota Access Pipeline, from drilling for crude oil on land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux nation.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 12, 2016

ON Scripture: Uber and Amos: Economic Justice in the Gig Economy (Luke 16:1-13) Rev. Keith Anderson

ON Scripture: The Bible

The manager in Jesus’ parable from Luke 16 could sympathize with those making their way in today’s economy.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 05, 2016

ON Scripture: Lost and Found: Depression and Isolation (Luke 15:1-10) By Karyn L Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

Being lost is scary. Being alone and fearful is rough. Feeling lost can bring us to our knees. It can lead to depression and addiction in frightening ways. Today’s text is a parable about being lost. These two stories are vivid and clear. Yes, they are about a lost sheep and a lost coin, but in the end they are also about so much more.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 29, 2016

ON Scripture: In God’s Hands (Jeremiah 18:1-11) By Mihee Kim-Kort

ON Scripture: The Bible

We are living in a world with no shortage of trauma each day. From floods to tsunamis, victims of gun violence and terror, refugees seeking to preserve their lives only to find themselves caught in wars and waves, we are constantly bombarded with the reminders of a relentless suffering experienced by God’s children. Where can we turn to find assurance of God’s loving presence in our midst holding us in caring hands?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 22, 2016

ON Scripture: Why Jesus wouldn’t be a Democrat or Republican (Luke 14: 1, 7-14) By Billy Honor

ON Scripture: The Bible

If you just listened to the current presidential candidates talk, you’d think the United States is a nation comprised of only rich and middle class individuals. Almost nothing in their speeches, party platforms and interviews would tell you that approximately 47 million citizens live in poverty in what is clearly the richest nation in the world.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 15, 2016

ON Scripture: Why We Can’t Wait (Luke 13:10-17) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

Don’t mistake the story about a woman with a debilitating spinal condition as 'just another healing story.' It’s about more than Jesus astounding people with his power and frustrating his adversaries. This is not a story about power embarrassing weakness. It’s not a story about new things replacing the old. At its core, it’s a story about what God intends. It’s about the urgency of seeing God’s intentions brought to pass without delay.

ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 08, 2016

ON Scripture: Navigating a World of Division (Luke 12:49-56) By Greg Carey

ON Scripture: The Bible

Our cultural moment feels ominous. In electoral politics we could scarcely imagine wider dissatisfaction – or greater gaps in perception. Our leading presidential candidates have earned unfavorable polling ratings among the highest ever reported. Partisan animosity runs at historically high levels: Democrats and Republicans regard one another more negatively than they have in twenty-five years. This combustible environment stresses us out.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 01, 2016

ON Scripture: Standing With Blue and Black Lives (Luke 12:32-40) by Karyn Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

We do not have to automatically fall into the binary position that one group is good and another is bad. We don’t have to support one group of persons over and against another group simply because the powers that be want to force us into that binary.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 25, 2016

ON Scripture: Who am I? Rant vs. Relationship (Hosea 11:1-11) By Walter Brueggemann

ON Scripture: The Bible

This is an extraordinary poem that dares to take us inside the conflicted interior life of God in order to see that the father has acute 'heart problems' and is torn between emotive rage and self-disciplined fidelity. With this text before us, we should I suggest, sit in silent amazement and ponder the God disclosed to us in this poem.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 18, 2016

ON Scripture: How Long, Oh Lord? Praying without ceasing for Justice (Luke 11:1-13) By Onleilove Alston

ON Scripture: The Bible

As I looked through my Facebook newsfeed I saw many of my African-American friends asking, 'How long, oh Lord?' This question is not just one we asked after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were added to our great cloud of witnesses as the latest victims of racial violence, but this is a question our parents, grandparents and generations have asked as they faced oppression.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 11, 2016

ON Scripture: Death, Injustice, and a Basket of Fruit (Amos 8:1-12) By Melissa Browning

ON Scripture: The Bible

Things aren’t always what they seem. Like that time God sent Amos a fruit basket. It was a tricky move. Generally speaking, a fruit basket is a wonderful, cheerful gift. Strawberries, blueberries, plums – or in Amos’ case, ripe figs. Everybody loves summer fruit. It reminds us of picnics, and parks, and cookouts with friends. But when God sent Amos a fruit basket, it came with a foreboding little note that proclaimed the end of the world.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 04, 2016

ON Scripture: Pushing Boundaries in a Culture of Outrage (Amos 7:7-17) By Julian DeShazier

ON Scripture: The Bible

It happens in every tragedy: something unspeakable happens, people speak up - sometimes competently and compassionately – and after a while, things move back to normal. Of course, it’s never “normal” for the people most affected by the tragedy, but the rest of us seem to forget how much we care about this moment in time that mattered just a few months (weeks?) ago.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 27, 2016

ON Scripture: Moral Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14) By Adriene Thorne

ON Scripture: The Bible

We cannot get to the healed and whole places God has prepared for us if we are traveling only with those who look and think and worship and dress and live and vote and love like us. Naaman’s healing comes together at the point where the fullness of human experience comes together. He learns to quilt.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 20, 2016

ON Scripture: The End of Excuses (Luke 9:51-62) by Karyn L. Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

Over a 1,000 people – men, women, children, and infants – have drowned over the past few weeks in the Mediterranean Sea. And the story has not received even a small amount of attention in the press or in our national psyche. We’re barely aware of it here in the US. But the refugee crisis is enormous.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 14, 2016

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Reflections on the Orlando Shooting

ON Scripture: The Bible

In light of the tragic shooting in Orlando, several of our ON Scripture writers took a few moments to reflect on these tragic events.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 13, 2016

ON Scripture: Parents and Prophets: Fighting for Future Generations (1 Kings 19: 1-15) By Keith Anderson

ON Scripture: The Bible

On this Father’s Day, we remember and give thanks for fathers—and all parents, as well as grandparents, guardians, and mentors that fight the good fight for the sake of their children and future generations. We celebrate the work of father-figures like Brian Osei from Project Return in Milwaukee, which teaches a fatherhood curriculum designed to help fathers become more active in their children’s lives.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 06, 2016

ON Scripture: Who Can We Trust to Lead Us? (1 Kings 21:1-21a) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

If we were to go by the titles of books about leadership, we might be tempted to imagine that good leadership is a matter of following the right set of instructions. And this might work if we could all agree what good leadership is. The roiling presidential season just might suggest otherwise.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 30, 2016

ON Scripture: An Amazing Partnership With God (1 Kings 17:8-24) By Rev. Dr. James Forbes

ON Scripture: The Bible

God’s call of Elijah was an invitation to a beautiful divine/human partnership of faithfulness and faithful service. It was based on a three-point contract: HO-GO-LO.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 23, 2016

ON Scripture: Support Those Who Have Served (Luke 7:1-10) By Mihee Kim-Kort

ON Scripture: The Bible

On Memorial Day we honor those men and women who have died while in military service for their country. The day also gives us the opportunity to recognize living veterans who continue to struggle with their experience overseas and the hardship of reintegrating into 'normal' life. Vets carry 'deaths' in their hearts and minds. We can find ways to walk with them so they can grow new lives and find peace.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 16, 2016

ON Scripture: Walter Brueggemann on Wisdom (Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31)

ON Scripture: The Bible

This text is one of the loveliest and most important biblical texts that respond to the question: What is the world like? How does it work? The text is framed as a speech by 'wisdom' who is presented as an active agent who has a voice for self-announcement. It is the work of the poet to bring to availability that which remains hidden but is deeply operative in the working of creation.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 09, 2016

ON Scripture: Pentecost and the Legacy of Prince (Acts 2:1-21) By Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith

ON Scripture: The Bible

Just a couple of weeks ago, many people were tossed unexpectedly into a spiral of shock and loss. People all over the world found themselves grieving at the same moment as news broke that Prince Rogers Nelson was dead on April 21, 2016. This moment of loss was filled with unified diversity. People of different ethnicities, nations, genders, ages, and religions felt similar feelings of bereavement.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

May 02, 2016

ON Scripture: Exposing a Government's Abuse of Power, and Other Life Hacks (Acts 16:16-40) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

The story in Acts 16 does more than show us how powerful societies -- whether ancient or modern – try to keep a grip on their dominance. While Acts 16 describes a steady stream of self-preservation that issues from the villains in Philippi, the story’s main point is to celebrate a divine victory.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 25, 2016

ON Scripture: Seeking Wholeness in an Inherently Flawed System (John 5:1-9) By Dr. Raj Nadella

ON Scripture: The Bible

John 5 tells the story of Jesus encountering many sick people, who were lying by the pool of Bethesda in hopes of getting healed. The pool, that was opposite Fortress Antonia, had a reputation for healing the sick. According to a tradition, an angel stirs the waters occasionally and the first one to enter the pool after that would be healed.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 18, 2016

ON Scripture: Climate Change: We Are Responsible (Acts 11:1-18) By Rev. Jes Kast-Keat

ON Scripture: The Bible

Have you ever read Scripture from an agrarian perspective? We tend to read Scripture with an anthropocentric perspective, but what if we read it with the land and animals in mind first? In her book An Agrarian Approach to Scripture, Ellen Davis invites us to consider reading Scripture with the land and animals at the forefront. Instead of reading Acts 11 with the humans in mind, try reading it with the land in mind.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 15, 2016

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Chibok Girls: We Will Not be Quiet - We Will Not Forget By Rev. Adriene Thorne

ON Scripture: The Bible

In instances when the Bible addresses harmed women and girls, the story is far from pretty. Tamar is silenced. Queen Esther is commended. Hagar is sent away. 'Be quiet for now,' Absalom instructs his sister. 'Be quiet,' is too often the message now as it was then. It has been two years since 276 Nigerian girls were forcibly taken from their school. We cannot be quiet.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 11, 2016

ON Scripture: Not Just About the Future (Revelation 7:9-17) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

This is a vision of hope and abundance, which makes such a vision so much harder to believe in a world threatened by environmental, economic, political, and personal crises. More and more, we live in a world where scarcity is the order of the day, where what we lack looms over us.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

April 04, 2016

ON Scripture: Finding Light in the Dark: Hope Inside Desperate Discourse (John 21: 1-19) By Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

All you have to do is turn on the news to hear desperation, fear, anger, and hatred. We find it in our politics and in our public discourse. We find it in our churches and in our homes. And it happens all the time. But it also happens in the private moments of individuals. Desperation can be found all around us.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 28, 2016

ON Scripture: The Value and Limits of Religious Liberty (Acts 5:27-32) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

The truth is: all Christians, no matter what their political leanings might be, have a stake in questions about when people should follow their conscience and resist oppressive edicts. Even when we disagree about what qualifies as an unjust law or an oppressive ruler, still the larger question of 'religious liberty' demands attention from anyone who claims to follow Jesus.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 23, 2016

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Reflections on the Brussels Terrorist Attacks

ON Scripture: The Bible

In light of this week’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, several of our ON Scripture writers took a few moments to reflect on these tragic events. To continue the conversation, join us on Twitter at #ONscripture.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 21, 2016

ON Scripture: Grace Bats Last (Luke 24:1-12) By Rev. Susan Sparks

ON Scripture: The Bible

Baseball and Easter are a perfect match. This year, Opening Day falls just a week after Easter Sunday. But beyond the calendrical coincidence, many people have referred to baseball as a religion. F. Scott Fitzgerald famously called baseball 'the faith of fifty million people.'
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 14, 2016

ON Scripture: Finding a Deeper Truth Together (Luke 22:14-23:56) By Sister Simone Campbell

ON Scripture: The Bible

The story of Jesus’ passion and death has stirred my imagination since I was a child. In an act of profound mystery, Jesus walks towards the conflict swirling around him. Jesus accepts his arrest and does not raise his voice. His willingness to embrace the consequences of truth telling leaves him silent in the face of his accusers. His judges repeatedly say they can find no fault in this man, but the people want more. They want someone to blame.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

March 07, 2016

ON Scripture: Jesus, Justice-Fatigue, and Why Being Black Is Exhausting (John 12:1-8) By Billy Honor

ON Scripture: The Bible

These days persons like myself (that is, black and involved in fighting social injustice) are almost constantly giving explanation for the continued contested existence of black life in America and quite frankly, this can be extremely exhausting. Moreover, I contend that given all of the pervasive injustices that continue to threaten black life in America it can be said that simply the act of being black is an exercise of exhaustion.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 29, 2016

ON Scripture: Dismantle the Prison of Political Polarization (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 & 2 Corinthians 5:16-21) By Rev. Keith Anderson

ON Scripture: The Bible

In his two letters to the church in Corinth, Paul addresses a notoriously contentious community, which frequently divided its people by class, ethnicity, and the perceived value of their spiritual giftedness. They even infamously divided people out at the Eucharist (1 Cor 11). In response, Paul urges those believers to engage in a 'ministry of reconciliation.'
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 22, 2016

ON Scripture: A Covenant of Neighborly Justice: Break the Chains of Quid Pro Quo (Isaiah 55:1-9) By Walter Brueggemann

ON Scripture: The Bible

In this season of Lent, this text of summons may be a sobering one for us. In this election season amid shrill or buoyant rhetoric, we may not notice that there real choices to be made, even as Jews in ancient Babylon were confronted with real choices of a most elemental kind.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 15, 2016

ON Scripture: The Money Lie: Consumerism’s Empty Promise (Philippians 3:17-4:1) By Adam J. Copeland

ON Scripture: The Bible

At the heart of the story Americans tell themselves is a close link between progress and material goods. Work is to be valued, and work leads to money. With money we can buy things—'goods'—we call them. And in these things we seek to find comfort. But it’s a lie, of course.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 08, 2016

ON Scripture: Revolutionary Love: Dismantling Hierarchy and Pushing Boundaries (Romans 10:8b-13) By Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

ON Scripture: The Bible

I must confess that I am an African-American woman, a Christian woman, a woman who believes there is more than one path to God. Working in the Black Lives Matter movement with people of many faiths, I get a little fidgety when I hear the words 'confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead.'
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

February 01, 2016

ON Scripture: Transfiguration: Encouragement for Faithfulness Unto Death (Luke 9:28-36) By James Forbes

ON Scripture: The Bible

The gospel account of the transfiguration of Jesus comes at a time when we desperately need its powerful message of encouragement. Our nation is in the midst of an epidemic of what I call 'a degenerative discouragement syndrome'. The news cycle enumerates a list of issues and concerns which seem to resist remediation or repair.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 25, 2016

ON Scripture: Walls: Not in My Backyard (Luke 4:21-30) By Greg Carey

ON Scripture: The Bible

Lots of our public conversations these days relate to boundaries. In a presidential election year, with seemingly countless candidates and endless debates, it’s hard to avoid the angry voices and fierce scowls.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 18, 2016

ON Scripture: Tamir Rice and the Anguish of Our National Sin (Nehemiah 8:1-10) By Robert Williamson

ON Scripture: The Bible

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 11, 2016

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource

ON Scripture: The Bible

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 04, 2016

ON Scripture: The Missing Piece (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22) By Rev. Susan Sparks

ON Scripture: The Bible

In our scripture this week, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, we are reminded of life’s key piece through the story of Jesus’ baptism. The moment Jesus emerges from the water, a voice descends from heaven and declares: “You are my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” Such beautiful words. And yet, perhaps more powerful than the words themselves is their timing.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

January 04, 2016

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource

ON Scripture: The Bible

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 28, 2015

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource

ON Scripture: The Bible

This week's ON Scripture Lectionary Resource
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 21, 2015

ON Scripture: Looking For Jesus (Luke 2:41-52) By Jim Kast-Keat

ON Scripture: The Bible

You’ll always find what you’re looking for. Unless, of course, you’re Mary and Joseph, looking for your preteen son on your road trip home from the Passover festival in Jerusalem.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 13, 2015

ON Scripture: Learning from Mary in Our Age of Endless War (Luke 1:39-55) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

National Geographic magazine recently named Mary, the mother of Jesus, 'the most powerful woman in the world' as an appraisal of her ongoing influence and popularity. But do Mary’s words and example have a prayer of being heard and effecting change in this time of war?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 12, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: The Challenge of Jonah: Countering Radicalization through Radical Inclusion by Frances Flannery

ON Scripture: The Bible

This Special Edition from ON Scripture invites a pause in the middle of the storm. Frances Flannery, Director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Terrorism and Peace and Professor of Hebrew Bible at James Madison University considers the current climate through the lens of Biblical story Jonah.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

December 07, 2015

ON Scripture: Ordinary Acts of Grace (Luke 3:7-18) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

John the Baptist is an irritant in the midst of Advent. In the Gospel reading for this week in Luke 3:7-18, he is in the wilderness excoriating the crowds who came seeking baptism and repentance and deliverance.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 30, 2015

ON Scripture: “Selective Salvation in a Fear-Filled World” (Luke 3:1-6) By Karoline Lewis

ON Scripture: The Bible

This passage from Luke for the Second Sunday of Advent points to competing worldviews. The opening verses are deceptively subversive. Into the religious reigns and imperial kingdoms of the first century C.E., the word of God comes.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 23, 2015

ON Scripture: Black Friday: Can’t Buy Love (Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36) By Karyn L. Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

As we enter into the season of busyness, family responsibilities, lots of eating, and rampant consumerism I am reminded that this really is supposed to be a season of anticipation and hope. Many of us have voids in our lives and I believe that filling them with 'stuff' is simply not the answer. The voids we have in our lives cannot be filled up with gadgets and gizmos.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 16, 2015

ON Scripture: Radical Hospitality: Building Bridges, Respecting Differences (Revelation 1:4b-8) By Jim Kast-Keat

ON Scripture: The Bible

Whether you find yourself sitting on a dock eating ice cream, accepting a sandwich from a coworker you considered your enemy, or protesting your alma mater with dozens of new friends, remember that it is the love of God in Christ Jesus that frees us and makes it possible for us and our world to change.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 16, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: ISIS Again: Keep Focus on The Divine Call

ON Scripture: The Bible

In light of last week’s events in Paris, France several of our ON Scripture writers took a few moments to reflect upon what they would/will be preaching on Sunday.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 09, 2015

ON Scripture: Veterans Day: War on Every Shore (Mark 13:1-8) By Shively Smith

ON Scripture: The Bible

It is so easy to read Mark and think of war as far off—especially if you are someone living in a neighborhood or region that has a semblance of peaceful times. For non-military families and organizations it is easy to miss that 'wars and rumors of wars' mean families, perhaps right next door to us, are bracing for the possibility that parents or children may be leaving soon.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

November 02, 2015

ON Scripture: Our Children Are Us (Psalm 127) By Dr. Cari Jackson

ON Scripture: The Bible

When children treated like they are not important, told they not smart enough or good enough, valued more for their accomplishments than for the unique individuals they are, treated like they only have value if they have money, or abused emotionally, physically or sexually, the impact of those feelings never goes away.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 26, 2015

ON Scripture: Beijing +20 & Michelle Obama: What is Women's Work? (Ruth 1:1-18) By Lisa Davison

ON Scripture: The Bible

The biblical Book of Ruth contains an ancient and powerful story about two women who faced an uncertain future and decided to walk together in creating new possibilities for them and for their communities.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 19, 2015

ON Scripture: Is My Religion Better Than Yours? (Hebrews 7:23-28) by Jaime Clark-Soles

ON Scripture: The Bible

We could talk about ISIS in Syria, the slaughter of Syrian Christians, and the Syrian refugee crisis that urgently demands a global response from all people of good will, whatever their faith tradition. Global migration patterns due to a variety of factors, including religious conflict, make it a concrete fact that a plurality of religious traditions in society is here to stay. Period.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 12, 2015

ON Scripture: Guns, Drugs, Sexual Violence: What Can We do? (Hebrews 5:1-10) By Mihee Kim-Kort

ON Scripture: The Bible

The emotional, physical, and spiritual violence that we inflict on one other is a sign that something is amiss in our world. The statistics from the World Health Organization on sex work and disease , paint the terrible truth that sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse are on the rise across the globe.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

October 05, 2015

ON Scripture: Pope Francis US Visit: Love and Joy Trump Rules (Mark 10: 2-18) By Sr. Simone Campbell

ON Scripture: The Bible

The Mark 10 text is a challenging gospel in our society that has a high divorce rate. But I have a hunch that there is a deeper truth that Jesus was trying to get at.
The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery Article

September 28, 2015

ON Scripture: Domestic Violence: Are the Children Safe? (Mark 10: 2-16) By Luke Powery

The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery (other)

Through this lens, it might not be a coincidence that directly following the teaching about marriage and divorce (vv.2-12) is a short story about how Jesus blesses children (vv.13-16). We can’t avoid this literary connection that points to existential realities. Children are affected by divorce, not just the partners.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 21, 2015

ON Scripture: Pope Francis Visits US: Greed is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22) By Amy Erickson

ON Scripture: The Bible

During his visit to Bolivia in July, the Pope addressed an audience of farmers, trash-pickers, craftspeople, and un-unionized workers. He expressed his compassion for the poor and the marginalized and advocated passionately for them, but he did not stop there. As he did in his encyclical on climate change, the Pope identified and condemned the systemic and structural causes of their suffering: the global idolization of capital and the pursuit of wealth.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 14, 2015

ON Scripture: Syrian Refugee Crisis: Our Chance To See God (Mark 9:30-37) By Dr. Cari Jackson

ON Scripture: The Bible

Since 2011, more than 200,000 Syrians died in the civil war. Close to 12 million, one-half of the Syrian population of 23 million, have been forced from their homes. More than 4 million have fled.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 07, 2015

ON Scripture: Free Speech: A License to Destroy or A Responsibility to Build Up (James 3:1-12) By Walter Brueggemann

ON Scripture: The Bible

Many countries in the global community do not have the right to free speech. In the US, our right to speak out is protected under the constitution. How well do we live up to the responsibility granted with that freedom?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

September 02, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: 500 Days Wondering: Where Is God? On the abduction of the Chibok girls by Marcia Fingal

ON Scripture: The Bible

Five hundred days in captivity is a long time for anyone, let alone teen girls, but this is exactly the case for 219 students kidnapped and still missing. Under the cover of darkness on April 14, 2014, the terrorist group Boko Haram, dressed as military soldiers, abducted 276 female students from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria. They plundered and burned the school to the ground and forced the young girls into large trucks. A total of 57 girls escaped on their own, but 219 grieving families still await news of their daughters' fate.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 31, 2015

ON Scripture: The New Feminism: Redefining A Woman’s Place (Mark 7:24-37) By Karyn L. Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

Throughout history – both in the Bible and in other places – women have been silenced or put "in their place." That is what this passage feels like. It feels like a woman is told to get back in her place.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 24, 2015

ON Scripture: Help End Hunger: It’s Simple (James 1:17-27) By Greg Carey

ON Scripture: The Bible

The Epistle of James insists that hearing the word of God necessarily entails living it out: Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves (1:22, NRSV). Some contemporary Christians excel in works of justice and mercy, while others seek moral purity. James recognizes no such distinction.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 17, 2015

ON Scripture: Immigration: Love Without Borders (1 Kings 8) By Roger S. Nam

ON Scripture: The Bible

The 2016 presidential election season has brought increased attention to the topic of immigration in recent weeks. In the coming sixteen months(!), the American public can expect the different presidential candidates to navigate through immigration issues in order to win voters, whether through shocking opening salvos designed for media attention, or strategically guarded statements intended to repel as few voters as possible.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 10, 2015

ON Scripture: Ferguson 1 Year Later: Give Us Wisdom (1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14) By Lisa Sharon Harper

ON Scripture: The Bible

Solomon is essentially asking God, 'Give your servant and understanding mind to govern your people able to discern that which protects, serves, and cultivates the relationships of your people to you, to themselves, to each other, to the earth, to the systems of governance, and to our surrounding nations! And show me what is evil—what destroys, threatens, corrupts any of these relationships.' This is wisdom.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

August 03, 2015

ON Scripture: Can We Keep Our Children Safe? (2 Samuel 18) By Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.

ON Scripture: The Bible

What happens when, in spite of our best efforts, we are overcome by human frailty, we are assaulted by the reality of the sins of humankind, and it appears there is nothing we can do that will overcome the tragic pain of our fractured lives? Such are the questions that come upon us when we read of the tortured life of King David.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 27, 2015

ON Scripture: Theological Trackstanding: A User’s Guide to Unity in Church and Society (Ephesians 4:1-16) By Jacob D. Myers

ON Scripture: The Bible

Nearly every issue of national concern—from prison to education to tax reform, from healthcare to LGBT rights—has become so polarizing that otherwise civil, intelligent human beings often digress to the level of obdurate toddlers staring down a bowl of broccoli.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 20, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: American Disabled Act: Working Toward Welcome and Dignity for All By Lisa M. Cataldo, Ph.D.

ON Scripture: The Bible

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is responsible for the wheelchair icon in the convenient parking spaces, for the Braille numbers in the elevator, for the accommodations made for students with learning differences in the classroom, and for closed captioning on television. It has provided people with all kinds of physical and mental disabilities access to places and experiences that the majority of people in America take for granted.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 20, 2015

ON Scripture: When War Becomes A Way of Life (2 Samuel 11:1-15) By Raj Nadella

ON Scripture: The Bible

It has been intriguing to watch the mixed reaction to the nuclear accord with Iran that can help the United States avoid another major war. The last major war the U.S. fought—the 2003 Iraq war—cost the taxpayers nearly two trillion dollars and about half a trillion in benefits still owed to veterans.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 13, 2015

ON Scripture: All the Charlestons: We Press on for Justice (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56) By Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

Weariness is the constant companion of those who seek justice. A year punctuated with tragedies around racial inequalities culminated in a burst of hateful violence during a Wednesday evening Bible study at the Mother Emanuel church. And as these nine faithful souls have been laid to rest, I have been struck by a refrain that many of my friends have been voicing.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

July 06, 2015

ON Scripture: We are Family: Why The Affordable Care Act Matters (2 Samuel 6) By Cari Jackson

ON Scripture: The Bible

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.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 29, 2015

ON Scripture: Freedom: For Everyone or Just People Like Us? (2 Corinthians 12:2-10) By Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Ph.D.

ON Scripture: The Bible

The United States celebrates Independence Day this weekend. Through the lens of fireworks, barbeque, political speeches and red, white and blue, many will cavort over the freedom this country affords. For almost 230 years America has danced to its own independent music. For many it is song filled with ear-pleasing melodies and harmony. Others lift tunes of tragedy and cacophony. Some are free to join the American chorus, but not all are welcome.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 27, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Gay Marriage: A Christian Response By Barbara K. Lundblad

ON Scripture: The Bible

Can a faithful Christian support the court’s decision? What can we say in response to questions voiced by some Christian people?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 23, 2015

ON Scripture: Pope Francis on Climate Change: Hearing the Cries of Earth and the Poor by Keith Anderson (2 Corinthians 8:7-15)

ON Scripture: The Bible

Last week Pope Francis issued a blockbuster papal encyclical on the environment called 'Praised Be.' It is the Pope’s clarion call to address what he describes as an urgent global environmental crisis. Sweeping in scope, it addresses the many dimensions of environmental degradation and the devastating toll it is taking on people, communities, and nations.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 22, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: On the Charleston Shootings

ON Scripture: The Bible

In light of last week’s shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, several of our ON Scripture writers took a few moments to reflect upon what they would/will be preaching on Sunday. To continue the conversation, join us on Twitter at #ONScripture.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 15, 2015

ON Scripture: Jim Crow Again: Lessons for Fighting this Giant (1 Samuel 17) By Melissa Browning

ON Scripture: The Bible

We must remember that when David was gathering those stones, the giant was still standing, still sucking in the air that those on the other side of the valley were desperately trying to breathe. We live in a time when too many giants are still standing. Poverty. Racism. Discrimination. Oppression. Inequality.
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 08, 2015

ON Scripture: Changing the Conversation: Black Lives Do Matter (Mark 4:26-34) By Bridgett Green

ON Scripture: The Bible

How does a social movement begin? How does frustration meet courage and conviction to bring a people together to engage in transformative work? What seeds do we plant to change a nation?
ON Scripture: The Bible™ Article

June 01, 2015

ON Scripture: Scandalous Leaders, Scandalous Power (1 Samuel 8) By Eric D. Barreto

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Leaders disappoint. Leaders let us down. All of them and not just the ones with a different political label than we hold. In 1 Samuel 8, the Bible recounts an ill-fated political decision....
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May 25, 2015

ON Scripture: Jean Vanier: A Prophet for the 21st Century (Isaiah 6:1-8) By Lisa Davison

ON Scripture: The Bible

One person who has been making a difference in this troubled 21st century is Jean Vanier, a man who started a movement by simply inviting mentally disabled friends to share his home. Vanier was recently awarded the 2015 Templeton Prize for what began as a simple gesture of welcome.
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May 19, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Death Penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: A Call for Radical Mercy by Shane Claiborne

ON Scripture: The Bible

It’s hard to have mercy for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It was Jesus who said, 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.' And he certainly demonstrates that mercy on the cross as he forgives the people nailing him to it. But as a follower of Christ, mercy seems like an audacious thing to ask of us.
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May 18, 2015

ON Scripture: Sorry, Presidential Candidates: Hope Resides in Groans, not in Your Rhetoric (Romans 8:22-27) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

We rely on hope as a force to inch us forward. No one wants to believe that our best days as individuals or as societies are behind us. Everyone wants to be a hopeful person. Or, at least, there are plenty of people out there eager to make sure everyone feels hopeful.
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May 11, 2015

ON Scripture: Don’t Ask Jesus to Say The Table Prayer (John 17: 6 – 19) By Barbara Lundblad

ON Scripture: The Bible

If you ask Jesus to pray the table prayer, you need to be ready to keep your eyes closed for a long time; at least if he prays like he did in John 17. Jesus’ table prayer goes on for twenty-six verses! This isn’t 'God is great. God is good. Let us thank God for our food. Amen. Let’s eat.' Besides, when Jesus prays in John 17, they’ve already eaten the meal!
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May 04, 2015

ON Scripture: Border Crossing: Astounding Hope in Laredo (Acts 10:44-48) By Mary F. Foskett

ON Scripture: The Bible

The Biblical story recounted in Acts 10:44-48 is also a story of transformation and relational border crossing between people who, though not at all strangers, were practiced at holding each other at a distance. It is a story of surprise and joy, and lives transformed by new relationships and new understandings of self and other forged by the Spirit. It is an old story with an important word for a new day.
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April 29, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Preaching reflections on Freddie Gray and Baltimore

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In light of this week's events in Baltimore, MD, 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.
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April 27, 2015

ON Scripture: Legislating Love in the 21st Century (Acts 8:26-40) By Karyn L. Wiseman

ON Scripture: The Bible

One of the hot button topics in America today is same sex marriage. This issue has been in the news often due to same sex marriage bans being struck down in state after state and on the minds of many after the controversial 'religious freedom' law passed in Indiana (and similar ones already enacted in other states). And it has been in the hearts of many gay and lesbian couples faced with the possibility of being denied access to services because of who they are and who they love.
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April 20, 2015

ON Scripture: Exhaling Judgment: A Personal Journey Toward Radical Welcome (John 10:11-18) By The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

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Jesus is the ideal shepherd, the model shepherd, the best kind of shepherd; the one who makes the promises of God available to all of God’s people by laying down his life for the sheep. This loving Shepherd has a huge and diverse flock.
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April 13, 2015

ON Scripture: More Than the Eye Can See (Acts 3:12-19) By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

ON Scripture: The Bible

In this week’s lectionary passage, a man crippled from birth wanted 'change.' Actually, he wanted coins or any alms that Peter and John could offer (Acts 3:1-11). To this man, the two disciples were in better shape than he was. From his view, he could surely benefit from whatever they had to offer. Yet, Peter exposes their impecunious state: 'Look on us. We don’t have a nickel to our names.'
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April 06, 2015

ON Scripture: Sell All Your Possessions! (Acts 4:32-35) Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

Inequality is a relentless blight. The hopelessness too often engendered when a lack of resources aligns with insufficient educational access, the easy prejudice of one's neighbors, and the ubiquity of oppression is dehumanizing and crushing.
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April 04, 2015

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Indiana and the Freedom of the Gospel By Greg Carey

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During the church’s highest holy season, Indiana’s religious freedom bill has captured our public conversation. Nuclear negotiations with Iran, a presidential election in war-torn Nigeria, and outrageous violence in Kenya notwithstanding, we can’t take our eyes off the Hoosier State and its Religious Freedom Restoration Act. For Christians, the controversy raises a pressing question: does religious liberty authorize Christians
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March 30, 2015

ON Scripture: Daring to Hope in the Stress of Uncertainty (Mark 16:1-8) By Matthew L. Skinner

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The author of Mark was a minimalist. We get an empty tomb, a promise, and frightened disciples who stay silent when they’re invited to share the news. Finis. Roll credits.
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March 23, 2015

ON Scripture: Stories and Letters from Prison (Philippians 2: 5 – 11) By Barbara Lundblad

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Who is God in Holy Week? Did God require Jesus to go to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins? Was everything neatly planned out – the donkey exactly where Jesus told the disciples it would be? Did Jesus have no choice but to do God’s bidding? Do we hear the crowds singing glorious praise or will we hear 'Hosanna!' for what it means: 'Save us?' On this first day of Holy Week our question is not only 'Who is Jesus?' but also 'Who is God?'
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March 16, 2015

ON Scripture: Ferguson & Forgiveness (Jeremiah 31:31-34) By Walter Brueggemann

ON Scripture: The Bible

Lent is our season of honesty. It is a time when we may break out of our illusions to face the reality of our life in preparation for Easter, a radical new beginning. When, through this illusion breaking homework, we connect with reality we see that in our society the fabric of human community is almost totally broken and one glaring evidence of such brokenness is the current unrelieved tension between police and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri.
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March 09, 2015

ON Scripture: Immigration: Journey to a New Life (Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22) By Lisa Nichols Hickman

ON Scripture: The Bible

Psalm 107 nudges us from our backyards to imagine the hearts and lives of those in transit – the refugee, the wayfarer, the pilgrim, the immigrant, the sojourner, the alien, the wanderer – all of those en route to the cross from the four compass points of the north, the south, the east and the west.
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March 02, 2015

ON Scripture: The Sacrifice of Covenant Relationship (Exodus 20:1-17) By Kimberly D. Russaw

ON Scripture: The Bible

On any given Saturday, people join Habitat for Humanity teams and commit to work to help eradicate poverty housing. The individual volunteers give of their time, energy and physical ability because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Similarly, in the HBO TV drama “Game of Thrones,” individuals from the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos volunteer to serve as The Night’s Watch.
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February 23, 2015

ON Scripture: From Generation to Generation (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16) By Adam Copeland

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The new names mark God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah. They have been blessed. Their names remind them of their destiny as God’s beloved forever. This is not to say Abraham and Sarah were perfect people. Even so, God Almighty used them for God’s divine purposes.
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February 16, 2015

ON Scripture: ISIS, American Sniper, and Rainbows (Genesis 9:8-17) By Greg Carey

ON Scripture: The Bible

These days ISIS, more than any other global power, evokes the specter of violence and death. Boko Haram kidnaps girls by the thousands. The Soviets – I mean, the Russians acting like Soviets – impose their violent will on the Ukraine. Terror abounds all over the globe. In depicting the psychic harm war inflicts upon our souls, American Sniper breaks its own box office records; meanwhile, Americans learn that we’re about to go to war again. It’s ISIS that makes us shudder.
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February 09, 2015

ON Scripture: Forsaking the “Whiteness” of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9) By Keith Anderson

ON Scripture: The Bible

In a time when renewed engagement is desperately needed, it is difficult to have dialogue when a vast majority of whites cannot empathize with the experience of communities of color, or, in some cases, acknowledge that there is a problem at all.
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February 02, 2015

ON Scripture: Gatekeepers of Redemption: Conservative Evangelicals on the Death Penalty (1 Corinthians 9:16-23) By Shanell T. Smith

ON Scripture: The Bible

Paul knew that everyone had imperfections; he had his own (as noted above). I would venture to say that no one would be considered innocent in terms of sin according to Paul; however, this is also what would make everyone a candidate for redemption. For Paul, belief in Christ is an alternative to the death penalty – eternal death, that is. Another welcomed and progressively changing prospective, however, is that it is not the only one.
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January 26, 2015

ON Scripture: The Super Bowl and the Church in a Culture of Dominance (1 Corinthians 8:1-13) By Matthew L. Skinner

ON Scripture: The Bible

Americans enjoy football because, to a degree, football reflects the values of strength, courage, strategy, self-discipline, teamwork, and celebrity that American culture holds dear.... The problem develops when we let football (or other sports, or a military, or corporations, or other forces) define strength in terms of dominance.
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January 19, 2015

ON Scripture: Free Speech, Big Fish, and Calls from God (Jonah 3: 1-5, 10) By Karyn L. Wiseman

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The Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last week was an act of absolute evil. The fact that people sitting down for a simple editorial meeting at their work site could be killed due to hate is disturbing beyond words.... But free speech is an interesting and complicated thing. The question is often about the limits of free speech.
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January 12, 2015

ON Scripture: Maybe God's Trying to Tell You Something (1 Samuel 3:1-20) By H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.

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Where is the new Samuel who will, when awakened, disturb the church from its rest? Who will speak when this new era so critically needs a new Martin Luther King? Who is there who is prepared to fill his shoes? What preacher in all our churches is ready to fill the void of leadership? What preacher stands to preach without fear on Sunday morning that he will be eviscerated for telling the truth?
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January 05, 2015

ON Scripture: In the Beginning & In the End: Christians & Climate Change (Genesis 1:1-5) By Eric D. Barreto

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This week's ON Scripture: The Bible Lectionary Resource from Odyssey Networks.
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December 29, 2014

ON Scripture: A World of Hope and Disappointment (John 1:1-18) By Greg Carey

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Optimism tends to accompany a new year. But we leave 2014 somewhat broken and disappointed. The online magazine Slate has christened 2014 'The Year of Outrage.' I bet the name sticks. Slate’s snappy multi-media calendar links the most outrageous news story for every day of the past year. What was so outrageous, and who found themselves offended?
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December 22, 2014

ON Scripture: Protest and God’s Presence (Isaiah 61:10-62:3) By Brian Bantum

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While every year is filled with its triumphs and its terrors, 2014 has been a year that has felt particularly fraught. It is not because this is a year where evil and terror appeared from nowhere, surprising us in our general euphoria or mundane lives.
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December 15, 2014

ON Scripture: The Self-Righteous System and the Prophetic Task (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16) by Brennan Breed

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Raising awareness, organizing protest and economic pressure, ideological critique, and lobbying for legislation: these echo the prophetic options available to the biblical prophets, and they remain the options that seem to hold the possibility for positive change. What if these do not bring about change?
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December 08, 2014

ON Scripture: You Don’t Want To Be A Prophet (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11) Eric D. Barreto

ON Scripture: The Bible

You don’t want God to ask you to be a prophet. You really don’t. When God calls you to some holy task, you might expect a contemplative path, a quiet life of service and love of neighbor. You might expect a comfortable life of piety and hopefulness, grace and caring. But true prophets know better.
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December 01, 2014

ON Scripture: Voices Crying Out: Comfort and Transformation in an Age of Mass Incarceration (Isaiah 40:1-11) By David Garber

ON Scripture: The Bible

The topic of exile often gives pause to mainline Christians. While many might draw personal analogies to the experience of exile—through individual traumas such as illness, the loss of a family member, or the break-up of a relationship—most of us have not experienced forced migration to a land that is not our own, stealing our personal freedom and thwarting our economic opportunity. The words in Isaiah 40:1-6 address just such a loss of communal freedom.
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November 28, 2014

ON Scripture SPECIAL: Release. Repair. Restore: Thoughts Beyond Ferguson Toward Racial Healing by Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis

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I suppose if Ferguson was an isolated context or if Michael Brown’s death was an anomaly, congregations this Sunday might simply pray for the families, for the burning buildings, for the broken glass in the streets and the broken hearts in Ferguson and around the nation. But neither is true.
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November 24, 2014

ON Scripture: It's Time Again: Depression and the Holidays (Isaiah 64:1-9) by Barabra Lundblad

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We know it will soon be the end of November and the end of Thanksgiving weekend. In the Christian calendar, it’s the beginning of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas. For many people, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a tough time to get through.
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November 17, 2014

ON Scripture: Jesus, Poor People and the Underside of Thanksgiving (Matthew 25: 31-46) by Billy Honor

ON Scripture: The Bible

I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, the fellowship, the friends and family, the football and did I mention that I love the food. Unashamedly it might very well be my favorite holiday. Yet, despite all my warm feelings about Thanksgiving, I am not blind to its historical shortcomings.
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November 10, 2014

ON Scripture: Should Christians be Afraid of Ebola or Climate Change or ISIS or…? (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) by Eric D. Barreto

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Fear is in the air. Ebola. War. Conflict. Economic turmoil. Political victories. Political losses. This is the stuff of the nightly news. And everywhere we look we have a new villain to worry about, a new threat against which we ought to brace, a new sense of hopelessness. This is nothing new, of course. The world has always been a scary place.
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November 03, 2014

ON Scripture: Since We Have to Wait, We’d Better Get to Work (Matthew 25:1-13) by Matthew L. Skinner

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What does the Christian life consist of? What does God expect from us? Here’s Jesus’ answer, according to Matthew’s Gospel: 'Wait faithfully. Together. Or else.' Sure, that isn’t an exact quotation, but it sums up -- again, according to Matthew -- what Jesus says to his followers when he instructs them about how they should live after he has departed from this earth.
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October 27, 2014

ON Scripture: All Saints’ Day: Facing Death (Matthew 5:1-12) by Greg Carey

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We have Ebola on the brain. Amid so much anxiety, we turn to All Saints’ Day in the church’s calendar. All Saints’ Day usually recalls our communion with of our spiritual ancestors throughout the centuries, celebrating our unity with saints as far away as North Africa in the fourth century and as close as our deceased relatives. But All Saints’ Day also reminds us of our bond with all believers in the here and now.
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October 20, 2014

ON Scripture: Reformation Then and Now - Dismantling Walls Today (Psalm 46) by Dirk G. Lange

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Every system, every culture, every community risks succumbing to the temptation of shutting borders and protecting an identity. We are quickly seduced into the illusion of absolute control and power.
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October 13, 2014

ON Scripture: Whose Image is Stamped on Your Heart? (Matthew 22:15-22) By Doug Mendenhall

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Whatever Americans think about the fairness of having to pay federal taxes, first-century residents of Judea certainly had more reason to gripe. An occupying army of Roman soldiers had invaded the country with much bloodshed and cultural upheaval, and taxes were not paid to demonstrate good citizenship so much as to stay alive.
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October 06, 2014

ON Scripture: What’s so “Domestic” About Violence? (Philippians 4:1-9) by Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

ON Scripture: The Bible

In his letter to the church at Philippi, the writer Paul admonishes the believers to guard their thinking. They are to 'fill their minds and meditate on things true, noble…the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse' (Philippians 4:8-9/MSG). The church in this city was full of drama, and the people were up in arms about many internal matters. Even the church leaders were at odds with one another.