Why do we repeat adages we know are false? Why do we deceive ourselves with seemingly soothing words that instead burn invisible scars upon us? Why do we persist in the deception that words cannot harm?
Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Speech Can Unite or Divide
The Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto, assistant professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, discusses the Biblical text James 3:1-12, featured in the ON Scripture The Bible article, “Sticks, Stones, and the Power of Words.”
Poor people. These are the two words underlying much of the political arguments coming across the airwaves right now. There is great discussion about “Medicaid,” “Medicare,” “The Affordable Care Act [aka Obamacare or Romneycare],” “Welfare,” “Big Government” and “Social Security. But two words rarely heard in the 2012 political campaign: poor people.
Watch the Video: Faces of Poverty: A Single Father
After suffering a layoff and searching for work for two years, a divorced 46-year-old father of three lands a job outside of Reading, Pa. The shift work is crucial for him to survive financially, but the hours required means he rarely sees his 16-year-old daughter.
Human beings want religion not God. Or, to put it slightly differently (and perhaps in a more nuanced manner!), they all too easily equate religion with a very particular, culturally determined, idea of God. They name their religion – their rites, their laws, their stories – divine or Bible-based. They find mystical origins for their laws turning those laws into unquestionable truths.
Watch the Video: What Contaminates a Life?
Efrain Agosto, a Professor at New York Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text Mark 7:1-8, 14-15 and 21-23, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “Lip Service – But Where Is the Heart?”.
Imagine being introduced for the first time, not by your name or what you have done, but in reference to what you will do. Such is the case for Judas in the closing section of chapter six in John’s Gospel, “For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him” (John 6:64 NRSV). Typically, we are recognized by our past, whether achievements or hardships. Then there’s something to go on. But not for Judas. There is no mention of Judas before this moment. As a character in the unfolding story of Jesus, he is first known by and immediately indicted for an act he has yet to commit. Perhaps not fair, but every bit true.
Watch the Video: Jesus Redeems the World
Peter Wallace, Producer and Host at Day1.org, discusses the Biblical text John 6:56-69, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “The Politics of Betrayal”.
The old king, David, is dead. It is time to pick his successor as king. In retrospect it seems obvious that his son, Solomon, was his rightful heir. In the moment, however, the matter of succession to the throne is highly contested. Two sons of David, Solomon and Adonijah, are both aggressive candidates for the succession. In the end, Solomon prevails and becomes king. But not easily! He must engage in choreographed deception with the aid of powerful allies. He is also willing to engage in raw violence in order to eliminate his rival. The scene sounds like one from The Godfather.
Watch the Video: ON Scripture: The Rise of King Solomon
Matthew L. Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, discusses the Biblical text I Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “Who Will Be America’s Next Leader?”.
Sometimes when I read a biblical text, it makes almost perfect sense to me. Other times, the author’s intent seems fairly obvious so I get a good feeling about what I am reading.
Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Jesus Is the Bread of Life
Barbara K. Lundblad, Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text John 6:35, 41-51, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “Not Another Bread Passage…Please!”
This past week, more than 20,000 people met in our nation’s capital for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. Activists, doctors, people living with HIV and AIDS, development workers, theologians, social scientists and all kinds of folks attended this event.
Watch ON Scripture: King David and Bathsheba
Commentator Robert Alter notes that David’s love stories take place amidst conflict and death. Bathsheba is not the only woman David married in the midst of pain or death. Similar stories can be found in his marriages to Michal (I Sam 18:20-29) and Abigail (1 Sam. 25).
August 2005. Hurricane Katrina had struck New Orleans and help had not yet arrived for several days. The televised images are nearly seven years old, but they continue to be vivid in my mind. Thousands of people, mostly poor African Americans, were stranded outside of the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center. They were screaming for help, for rescue, for food, for water. Even worse, untended dead bodies were laying there – one in a grocery cart, only some covered up.
John the Baptist was convicted, convinced of his ordination to prepare the way of the Messiah with a call to repentance. Herod Antipas was conflicted, assailed by contradictory impulses within himself and vulnerable to pressures outside himself.
Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Death of John the Baptist
Barbara K. Lundblad, Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text Mark 6:14-29, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “The Downfall of Giving Into Fear”.
Immigration Reform and the Challenges of Generosity (Luke 4:22-30) By Matthew L. Skinner
Charity doesn’t leave us unchanged, which is just one reason why it’s hard to make ourselves do it.
To be more specific: when we extend generosity and justice to others, it alters our relationship to them. Especially when those “others” are foreign to us. Hospital
The Abortion Debate: We’re All in This Together By Barbara K Lundblad
This is a memorable week: on Monday the inauguration of President Obama on the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and on Tuesday the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court. Some people will celebrate all three with thanksgiving. Others will
A Vision for America: John 2:1-11 By Reverend Dr. Alvin O'Neal Jackson
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:10
Occupy the Dream
Spurred on by the Occupy Wall Street movement, African-Am
Waiting on the Messiah and Presidential Expectations: A Study of Luke By David A. Sánchez, Ph.D.
It is an odd juxtaposition, December 21, 2012 and January 21, 2013. The former date representing the “so-called” Mayan apocalypse where the usual suspects prepared for the end of the world – many of whom were Christians awaiting the second coming of Christ – a
Frankincense, Myrrh and a Toothbrush? Matthew 2:1-12 By Lisa Nichols Hickman
In As I Lay Dying, the main character Anse appears self-absorbed when at his wife’s death he says, “God’s will be done. . . . Now I can get them teeth.” His character will certainly not be remembered for altruism. But Anse will be remembered for the physical ef