We Are the Just Remnant

I’ve said before that the reason it seems like the prophets are predicting the future is that we keep making the same mistakes. It should come as no surprise, then, that the time into which Micah was speaking is very much like our own. Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, but an outsider, not a professional prophet. He prophesied mainly …

Repent, for the End is Near at Hand

In 1976, my parents took me and my brother to the Freedom Train. Amtrak, to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, launched a rolling museum filled with memorabilia of our nation’s history. I was seven, so I don’t remember a lot of details, except for a lot of red, white, and blue. I remember there were old things, which have always captured …

The Poor You Always Have With You

The poor you always have with you. We are almost 50 years past the first Poor People’s campaign. Still, as the Kairos center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice puts it: We are experiencing unprecedented poverty in the midst of plenty; unnecessary abandonment in spite of unheard abundance. The poor you always have with you. At least 46.5 million people, …

America, We Must Be Born Again

For the homily today, we’ll follow important conversations from three major players: Nicodemus, the Samaritan Woman, and James Baldwin. Nicodemus: The Vulnerability of Rebirth First, Nicodemus. When Jesus tells Nicodemus he must be born again, Nicodemus asks how a grown man can go back into his mother’s womb. More than an Oedipus complex, Nicodemus’s apparent misunderstanding is a rhetorical ploy …

The Gospel or the Gun

I’m sure we are all used to the rhetorical pattern following a mass shooting. Thoughts and prayers are offered, people suggest all kinds of possible causes and explanations, then we do nothing. I’m interested in that middle stage because it might suggest what our mindset is that results in the final moribund stage. The way that we talk about gun …

Prosperity and Virtue

  I wish that I had simply asked the question on Sunday that, it seems to me, must be answered at the beginning of the Poor People’s Campaign’s National Call to Moral Revival: Why is it hard to talk about money? As our friend Wanda pointed out to me, a productive dialog on poverty must include both those who have …

The Bible Says…

I suspect that all Christians would affirm that the broad theme of the Bible is “the Gospel.” I also suspect that, once we drill down into the details, things will fragment substantially. Even so, I suspect that most Christians will affirm, as I would have thirty years ago, that the Gospel is about sin and salvation, heaven and hell, who’s …