August 18, Fire: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to set the earth on fire.” These startling first words of next Sunday’s Gospel are found only in Luke’s Gospel. They echo the great Hebrew prophet Elijah, who called down fire on the prophets of the false god Baal (1 Kings 18:36ff).…

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August 11, Time: a Sunday Scriptures blog

As a volunteer chaplain I visit a county hospital, and so each week I meet people who have just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. We all know theoretically that our life is finite, but when that knowing stops being theoretical, it is always a shock. When that happens to…

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July 28, Prayer: a Sunday Scriptures blog

One of the most difficult and frustrating questions is “Why doesn’t God answer prayers?” It seems that today’s Scriptures assure us that God does! In the Hebrew Scripture reading, God listens to Abraham persuading him not to destroy a sinful city. In the Gospel, we have a double lesson on…

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July 14, Compassion: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Familiar to everyone who is connected with social justice is the story of villagers by a river, which goes something like this: One day a body floats down the river, and the villagers rescue it. The next day, more bodies begin to appear. The villagers continue to act responsibly and…

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