Turning the Tables and Righteous Anger

Jesus courageously confronted injustice. He challenged the temple’s hierarchy against the backdrop of the ongoing economic and social oppression of his times. Jesus was a non-violent revolutionary, but he was not passive.

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Podcasts: It’s About Time

From The Parliament of World's Religions

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is proud to distribute It’s About Time, a weekly podcast produced in partnership with our allies at Religica.org and Seattle University.

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The MYSTERY Is LOVE

The embodiment of LOVE is achieved when we who are made of LOVE, recognize ourselves in the other, because LOVE is not something that we do, LOVE is who we are. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, LOVE never ends. Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. When we recognize ourselves in the other, we are the embodiment of LOVE. Now we know only in part, then we will know fully, even as we have been fully known. When we recognize ourselves in the other, faith, hope, and LOVE abide, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

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Values to Build a Life On

Part IV: Dedication to Compassion for All Humanity

The 22nd chapter of Proverbs seems like a random list of statements that are right brain rather than left because they wander around a labyrinth rather than go straight to a clear point. Yet a message of compassion stands out that begins with how children are raised.

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Maya Angelou On Being Christian

To help kick off Black History Month, here are two bite-sized pieces of wisdom from the late, great literary genius, Maya Angelou. Like gems, these are ideas you can put in your pocket, and take them out whenever you need them 🙂

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Social Justice, the Good Samaritan and Outsourcing Charity

One of the most common arguments I hear against “social justice” is this:

Many Christians believe the Gospel calls us to get personally involved in doing charity. They argue that we shouldn’t work to improve economic and political systems because that would be outsourcing our Christian responsibilities to a third party, such as the government. For example, they would say Jesus calls us to personally feed the hungry (Matthew 25:31-46), not to pay taxes so that the government can do that for us.

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Perfecting Love

If God is love, then God is something we do, rather than somebody or something we try to believe in. If God is love, then God is a relationship, and not a Guy in the Sky or some other kind of supernatural entity. If God is love, God is nothing to fear. If God is love, when we really love someone – even of another religion, or of no religion at all – God is in that relationship, blessing it. So these three words wipe away all the theological debates about science and common sense versus religion. These three words sweep away the problem of evil, the perennial conundrum of how an all-powerful God could love people while allowing horrible things to happen to them. If God is love, then God is not in charge of the universe. Love is extremely powerful, but it is not directive. Love does not force anybody to do anything, nor to force anything to do anything to anybody. If God is love, then God is omni-attractive, not omni-potent.

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Peace is Like Warm Syrup

I think each of us is born with a place of grace, a spot free of regret, disappointment, fear, shame and loneliness. To me it’s that untouched place from which is birthed love, joy, compassion, kindness and peace. Throughout our lifetime though, this place can become clouded over and we may lose touch with it from being wounded and hardened by life. Yet this place of pure grace remains untouched. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines peace as harmony and tranquility derived from the awareness of the Christ, or unitive, consciousness. I believe it is known by many names including what is called Atman, Oneness, Buddha Nature, Tao, and what Jesus called Love, and we embody it when we become aware and awaken this consciousness, known as our Most Noble Self.

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The Things We Do For Jesus! – a sermon on the Baptism of Jesus

There’s a definition of what it means to be a priest that has always daunted me. A priest it has been said is “a keeper of the mysteries; a keeper of the sacred mysteries of our faith. People often confuse the idea of mystery with the idea of secret. But I can assure you that as a keeper of the mysteries of the faith it is neither my job nor any other priest’s job to keep the mysteries of our faith a secret.

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“Becoming Magi” (Epiphany Sunday Sermon Video)

“The greatest Epiphany is the discovery of the LIght within ourselves.” Watch as Rev. Salvatore Sapienza, pastor of Douglas Congregational United Church of Christ, explains the symbolic meaning of the journey of the Magi.

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Borg and Compassion

I just finished “Unbelievable” and found many things in the book that I was unaware that I believed. I am curious to know how you feel about/reconcile people who are truly evil or unrepentantly evil like child abusers/pornographers. I can deal with people whose belief systems are different than mine but not with people who purposefully hurt other people, especially children. Some even believe it is their right to do so.
How can we love these people wastefully?


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The Inward Journey, the Outward Gaze

Progressive Mysticism with Julian of Norwich

Theologian Karl Barth once counseled, “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” In graduate school over 40 years ago, I heard a modification of Barth’s wisdom, “The preacher should have the New York Times in one hand and the Bible in the other.” This advice surely applies to the spiritual seeker and social activist as well. We must have our eyes trained on eternity while boldly living in our time and place. Touching eternity, the cosmic wisdom of God, grants perspective and hope in the moral arc of history. But the wide perspective – our hope in God’s arc of justice – is of value only if it guides our pathway in responding to the unique challenges of our time.

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Christmastide* Greetings

I hope you’ve been having a restful and reflective season. And, I realize that, for many of us, this has been a difficult season – whether simply feeling the weight of national and global tensions and tragedies, or the pain often borne uniquely in our immediate context.

I carried this paradox with me in my conversation with my dear friend Alexander John Shaia yesterday. It was our final Make Advent Great Again dialogue, and it’s too good not to share with you

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Church Confession

I am the church, and this is my confession.  My last confession was 500 years ago.  I have oppressed women and kept them out of leadership positions.  I have oppressed gay and lesbian people.  I have judged people pointlessly for having normal sexual urges and relationships, treating sex like a disease instead of lifting it up as a precious gift from God. 

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Praying a New Story

“Praying a New Story” offers a way of seeing and being in the presence of an “everywhere” God” – in all, through all, never absent, always nears.

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If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics

These are new prayers for a new age. They spark the spiritual imagination back to life and reorient us to a mystical unity with the universe, Spirit, and all of creation.

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Family, Friends, Food, Credit Card Debt, Guilt, and Resentment

While there never has been a “war on Christmas” there has been plenty of debate among Christian sects as to its “true meaning.” There is, of course, no mention of the holiday in scripture and the two birth narratives in the gospels tell such different stories that we can be thankful that they at least agree on the name of the baby. But if we allow ourselves to ask our modern culture that it really means, beyond the shopping, gift giving, and requisite office parties, the culture, from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and Hollywood’s classics, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and “A Miracle on 42ndSt.,” it would seem that the true meaning of Christmas is a change in an individual’s heart from being cold, distant, and unloving into something more loving, joyful, and generous. That’s a conversion narrative that isn’t especially religious and, with Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, I will say, “God bless it!”

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The Way of Thomas: Insights for Spiritual Living from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

Want spiritual transformation, but turned off by dogmatic religion? Discover the original, mystical teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, the most important book left out of the Bible.

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