Matthew's story of Jesus in the wilderness is sandwiched between his baptism and the official start of his ministry in the Bible. It is similar to a coming-of-age story. It humanizes Jesus and connects us to him. This story is a metaphor. This is a spiritual journey where Jesus searches for meaning and a purpose in life.
Our reading brings us news that Jacob's family is now vast and strong. Unfortunately, the new king feels threatened that the Hebrews, foreigners, are now more numerous than his people. He orders his people to treat them harshly, hoping to decrease their numbers.
Continuing with the lessons of Jesus, we learn more from the Sermon on the Mount. Last week, we are instructed to love our neighbor. This week, we are instructed to love our enemies. It is hard to imagine a more difficult task given the current divide in America.
Our reading today is one of the most well known from the Hebrew text. It tells us of Moses' words to the people as they were about to enter the promised land. The myth says that God told his people to go into Canaan and take it for themselves. As history has shown, the people just moved into a country with other people still living there. There are still Canaanites still living in Israel today. They call themselves Palestinians.
February is the beginning of Black History Month. Over the course of this month, we will explore the contributions of Blacks to our religious life. These contributions take many forms; breaching, biblical scholarship, liturgy, music, and social and spiritual transformation (now known as social justice).
Our reading today is typically known as "The Sermon on the Mount" or the "Beatitudes." Scholars of the Jesus Seminar believe the true translation equivalent is not "blessed are..." but "congratulations." These are strange congratulations though.
After an eventful week, Rev. Shockley was inspired to speak on the subject of being evangelical. The word, evangelical, has received a bad reputation in today's society. Let us not consider the word as it has come to be understood but as the dynamic and progressive presentation of the Good News of Jesus to a hurting world.
On the eve of our presidential inauguration, we consider the question of what would Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. say to the nation. Rev. Shockley uses King's own words from his 1968 sermon titled The Drum Major Incident. King used passages from Mark in his sermon. We can relate these to Trump.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the word of the year for 2016 is post-truth. We are in a world where the truth no longer matters. The concept was introduced in 2005 by the comedian, Stephen Colbert. He called it, truthiness...
Jesus' birth is told from two different perspectives. The Gospel of Luke is told from the perspective of Mary while Matthew speaks from the perspective of Joseph. Today, we are looking at Matthew's version.
The theme of tonight's meditation is "How can this be?" There are only two gospels that have a birth narrative, Matthew and Luke. They approach this story from two distinct perspectives...
A young shepherd boy names Jesse was left behind to tend the sheep while his father and brothers went to see the baby Jesus. The angels around Bethlehem noticed him as he played his flute.
After his trip to Palestine and the West Bank, Rev. Shockley offers some reflections. The sermon title comes from a theme of a cultural center in Bethlehem. This trip is...
During this post-election period, people are dealing with many emotions. Some can be immobilized by fear. Others are mobilized to offer hope and inspiration for a better tomorrow. Rev. Stinson speaks of our living in fear since Sept. 11th, 2001.
Today, we are looking at how Hagar's story relates to us. God sends Hagar back to Abram and Sarah after Hagar runs away. Sarah had wronged Hagar by...
his is World AIDS Sunday. The worldwide campaign to end AIDS depends not only on stopping the spread of the virus but also stopping the spread of the stigma attached to those living with the disease. This stigmas is detrimental in many ways...