Faith is formed in us by the Spirit and the life of the church. It renews our elemental confidence and creates our disposition toward the world.
"In the Middle East peace process, the peace was being negotiated by secular elites who lacked the religious language of so many of their people."
Imagine you're walking through a big city and you see a homeless person. You have several options.
I wished that Hosea and Philemon were not in the lectionary. My reasoning? I don't like that the books uphold the notions of people being bought and sold as property.
Here's some good news: despite our short collective attention span, despite the fiscal-cliff debacle dominating the headlines shortly after the Newtown shooting, the U.S. scourge of gun violence is still part of the national conversation. Now, every time I hear a public official mention Newtown and Aurora but not Chicago—which experienced a startling spike in gun homicides in 2012, mostly in poor, black neighborhoods—I'm ashamed at the implication that some killings deserve more shock and outrage than others. Still, whatever it takes to motivate people to take on the pro-gun lobby, I'm grateful to see it happening.
At age eight, Sam became totally paralyzed. A year later he emerged with brain damage, learning disabilities, complex emotional problems and severe behavioral problems. His family began to disintegrate under the strain. His mother committed suicide, and Sam was placed in a psychiatric hospital. In this horrible situation, what earthly difference can Jesus make?
In Dallas, Texas, one week prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, I heard German New Testament scholar Joachim Jeremias reminisce about his life in Israel, where his parents were missionaries. After WWII, he returned nervously to Israel to see if the treatment of Jews by the Nazi regime had severed forever his friendships there. When he knocked at the door of an old friend, he was welcomed with an embrace.