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ON Scripture

ON Scripture Archives

Immigration Reform and the Challenges of Generosity (Luke 4:22-30)

posted by Odyssey Networks

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. […]

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The Abortion Debate: We’re All in This Together

posted by Odyssey Networks

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. […]

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A Vision for America: John 2:1-11

posted by Odyssey Networks

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 […]

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Waiting on the Messiah and Presidential Expectations: A Study of Luke

posted by Odyssey Networks

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 […]

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Frankincense, Myrrh and a Toothbrush? Matthew 2:1-12

posted by Odyssey Networks

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 […]

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The Hell of Parenting: A Study of 1 Samuel

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Jacob D. Myers Few narratives in the Hebrew Bible are more foreign to us than this week’s lectionary.We do not give away our children. In a society determined by socio-economic forces utterly beyond the control of individual citizens (e.g., […]

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On the Fiscal Cliff with John the Baptist: Luke 3:7-18

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Carolyn J. Sharp Recently I had the unsettling experience of receiving unsolicited financial advice from John the Baptist. Not directly, of course— his counsel was mediated through an ancient codex, the Gospel of Luke. Written in the latter part […]

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Who Was He? Malachi 3:1-4

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Nyasha Junior Who was Abraham Lincoln? You may get different answers depending on whom you ask. He is known as the Great Emancipator. He was a self-taught rural Kentuckyian. He was a husband and father. Also, he was a […]

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A Different Kind of King: John 18: 33 – 37

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Barbara K. Lundblad Delores Williams, wise theologian and teacher, was my colleague when I first came to Union Seminary. She grew up in the South and remembers Sunday mornings when the minister shouted out: “Who is Jesus?” The choir […]

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Signs That the End Is Near: Mark 13:1-8

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Adam J. Copeland No matter the tragedy these days, some religious leader or blogger will attempt to connect it to God’s judgment. Some say superstorm Sandy was God’s wrath on liberal New York and New Jersey. Others fault 9/11 […]

The Value of Chump Change: Mark 12:38-44

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Greg Carey Is poverty what it used to be? Or has poverty grown so shameful that we dare not speak its name? So determined are we keep poverty out of view, we erase the presence of the poor from […]

How to Vote like a Christian: Mark 12:28-34

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Eric D. Barreto It seems so easy, doesn’t it? Love God. Love your neighbor. The two greatest commandments encapsulate the core of faith and could–if we really were to trust God–transform the world. Similarly then and with election day […]

God’s Return Policy: Jeremiah 31:7-9

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Gregory Lee Cuéllar Debates on immigration in the United States continue to move in the default direction of North/South. As such, the prominent debating points often direct public attention to the U.S./Mexico border fence and the Latina/o community. By […]

Is It Possible To Govern “Biblically”?

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Matthew L. Skinner Temptations to hold and wield power are usually tough to pass up. Power is alluring whether we imagine having it over others or on behalf of them, whether it’s power in society, at home, or in […]

The Wizard Is In: Or Is He?

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles On September 25, 2012, President Obama presented new initiatives to address human trafficking in America. He did this as the President of the United States, but I know he also did it as a parent […]

Jesus Stands Up for Wives and Children: Mark 10:2-16

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Henry G. Brinton In a discussion with a number of Pharisees about divorce, Jesus says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9). I bet that Jesus would like the number 36,722. That number is […]

Eating with the Enemy: Esther’s Story

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Lisa Hickman When ‘Enemies’ Meet During the Everest climbing season last May, just 1000 feet from the top of the world, twenty-four year old Israeli law student Nadav Ben-Yehuda noticed a 64 year old Turkish man, Aydin Irmak, lying […]

Jesus’ Death and the Future of Violence: Mark 9:30-37

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Matthew L. Skinner If pondering Jesus’ crucifixion doesn’t make you uncomfortable, you probably aren’t doing it right. I’m not referring to the gore and humiliation, which makes crucifixion repulsive no matter who the victim is. Watch the Video: ON […]

Sticks, Stones, and the Power of Words: James 3:1-12

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto 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 […]

Poverty, Wealth, and Equality? James 2:1-10, 11-13, 14-17

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Margaret Aymer 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” […]

The Politics of Betrayal: John 6:56-69

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Karoline Lewis Broken Promises 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 […]

Who Will Be America’s Next Leader? I Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Dr. Walter Brueggemann 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 […]

Not Another Bread Passage … Please! John 6:35, 41-51

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman 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:  […]

Perilous Power: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto Every Bible ought to have a warning on its cover. Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Nathan Rebukes David Eric Barreto, an assistant professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, expands on the story of […]

The Story of Patriarchy and HIV and AIDS: 2 Samuel 11:1-15

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Melissa Browning 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 […]

Compassion Fatigue: Mark 6:30-34 & 53-56

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Eric C. Shafer 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 […]

The Downfall of Giving Into Fear: Mark 6:14-29

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. James M. Childs 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 […]

No Priority Like Health, No Place Like Home: Mark 6:1-13

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder The reports are stunning! Due to the financial fiasco of 2008 the average wealth of persons in the middle class has dropped over $40,000. It took four years for a generation of wealth to evaporate. It […]

Taking Jesus Seriously: Mark 5:21-43

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Dr. Lewis Galloway The book of Ecclesiastes says that there is an appropriate time for every matter: there is a time to mourn and a time to laugh. When I was growing up, my sister and I used […]

Lord of the Storm: Mark 4:35-41

posted by Odyssey Networks

By: Greg Carey On a first read, Mark 4:35-41 looks like a demonstration of Jesus’ astonishing power—and so it is. Jesus’ disciples are traveling across the Sea of Galilee. When a violent storm threatens to destroy the boat and its […]

Pariahs No More: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Alvin Jackson Pariah is a noun — a person without status, a rejected member of society, an outcast. Watch the Video: My Journey as a Lesbian Pastor Rev. Barbara Lundblad reflects on her experiences as a lesbian pastor in […]

What Makes a Family? (Mark 3:20-35)

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Matthew L. Skinner “Parents just don’t understand” might be an ever-present theme in popular music, but it’s hardly a modern phenomenon. Jesus’ Family Discord If you’re looking for snapshots of well-adjusted and happy parent-child relationships from the ancient world, […]

The Price of Being Prophetic: Isaiah 6.1–8; John 3.1–17

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Sze-kar Wan The recent escape of the well-known blind Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng from house arrest to the American embassy has attracted a lot of attention in the media. The story is rife with possibilities in an […]

Acts 8:26-40: Castrating Our Customs

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Adam J. Copeland Some people call them “thin places,” locations where the gulf between heaven and earth narrows and we fully sense God’s presence. Many people find these thin places in nature. Others discover them in the familiarity […]

John 20:19-31: Thomas > Doubt

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Lisa Hickman Thomas is permanently labeled a ‘doubter’ by two millennia of history books, sermons, cartoons and theological treatises in the Christian tradition. A cartoon by Joshua Harris has Thomas crying out, “All I’m saying is we don’t call […]

Beyond Fear and Silence: Mark 16:1-8

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Barbara K. Lundblad This story leaves us wondering and longing for more. Mark’s Easter gospel (Mark 16: 1-8) ends with silence rather than “Alleluia!” That wasn’t the word the women said at the end of their long night of […]

Mark 14:1-15:47: What Jesus’ Death Tells Us About Ourselves

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Mathew Skinner   The Trayvon Martin story is tragic for many reasons. We see one of them in what his death has again brought to the surface: deeply rooted convictions that the system is flawed. We have a hard […]

Previous Posts

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

posted 10:17:05am Feb. 04, 2013 | read full post »

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

posted 11:29:13am Jan. 23, 2013 | read full post »

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

posted 9:02:18am Jan. 17, 2013 | read full post »

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

posted 1:03:29pm Jan. 10, 2013 | read full post »

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

posted 1:59:16pm Jan. 03, 2013 | read full post »

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