The Common Good

Blog Posts By God's Politics Editor

Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 4 hours ago
Creating Spirit, we marvel at your continual creation. We bask in your grace and mercy, recognizing the ways we fall short of your glory every day. We thank you for making new hearts in us, so that we may serve you more fully. We pray that your Holy Spirit may enliven us to live whole lives for you. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 3 days ago
"Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat." - Audre Lorde  Audre Lorde + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 3 days ago
But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded. - Mark 6:49-51 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 3 days ago
God of life, may our lives be a song that praises your son's name through all that we say and do. Grant us prudence to know that your son's command to love you and our neighbor also includes the command to love oneself. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one god, forever and ever. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 3 days ago
1. 805 Speakers, 159 Women Jonathan Merritt’s informal study of prominent evangelical conferences found that only 19 percent of speakers at plenary sessions were women led to a lot of buzz in the Christian world. Check out which conferences he looked at. 2. But Americans Don’t Have to Wait for Health Care ... Do We? The Commonwealth Fund’s annual report on health care in 14 developed countries shows that America spends 50 percent more per capita than does Norway, the next-most-expensive nation. Yet, if you’re sick and need a same-day or next-day appointment, you’re more likely to get it in seven other countries. 3. Zombies 101? Colleges Offer Courses on the Undead Monmouth University in New Jersey is the latest school to offer a course on the growing zombie phenomenon. "Zombies: Social Anxiety & Pop Culture" was among the first courses to fill up when students at the private university in West Long Branch registered for fall classes. But studying zombies also involves some serious scholarship, said Edward González-Tennant, the professor of the class. 4. Catholicism Gets Funny Catholic humor is spreading — from Stephen Colbert and other comedians to Eye of the Tiber, the Catholic version of The Onion. 5. Charlotte Churches Get Cameos in ‘Homeland’ Ever wondered where some of the Middle Eastern scenes featured in Showtime’s Homeland really took place? Blogger Tim Funk tells about a few churches in Charlotte, N.C., used as film sets. 6. Santorum to GOP: You Can Learn Something From Francis Rick Santorum, the former senator who ran for president, believes that Republicans should look to Pope Francis as a model for maintaining beliefs while agreeing to talk about common ground. 7. Vancouver’s Banning Doorknobs Vancouver, Canada, is phasing out traditional round doorknobs in favor of easier-to-grasp levers in a nod to its aging population. Perhaps, it’s also a nod to the commandment to honor thy mother and father? 8. Restless America Using 2012 census data, analyst Chris Walker gives an interactive kaleidoscope look at migration patterns in the United States. 9. Racial Preferences and Online Dating Data from the Facebook dating app, Are You Interested?, finds, in a surprise twist, that all racial groups prefer another race over their own. 10. Preachers, Snakes and Salvation — Oh, My! A Tennessee pastor pleads not guilty to keeping dozens of poisonous snakes that he and his parishioners touch during services. "This ain’t no longer just a fight for snake handling," Andrew Hamblin, pastor of the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette and a star of National Geographic’sSnake Salvation, said. "This is a fight for freedom of religion."
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 4 days ago
Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. - Coretta Scott King  Coretta Scott King + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 4 days ago
For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate. Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time. - Amos 5:12-13 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 4 days ago
Jesus, please remember us, and that will strengthen us to turn again to you, to choose life, to work for justice and peace, to practice hospitality, to love our neighbors, and to trust that you will strengthen and equip us for the task. Thanks be to God. Amen.- From Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 5 days ago
"Each person must live their life as a model for others." - Rosa Parks Rosa Parks + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 5 days ago
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims [God's] handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. - Psalm 19:1-4 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 5 days ago
God of unending grace, through your son Jesus Christ you bless humankind with endless gifts and talents so that we may help proclaim and make present the fullness of your kingdom. May we use our gifts wholly and readily, giving glory to you as the source of all that is true, good, and life-giving. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 6 days ago
"Most of us have half-a-dozen or so favorite anxieties, like bitter sweets we suck on endlessly. We would be frightened to be deprived of them. Jesus challenges us to go beyond the fear of letting go of anxiety, the fear we have of peace itself." - Laurence Freeman Laurence Freeman + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 6 days ago
For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals [God's] thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is [God's] name! - Amos 4:13 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 35 weeks 6 days ago
God of mercy, we pray for the passion to seek Christ's healing presence in our lives. We pray for the Holy Spirit to shape our hearts, keeping us from judgmental grumbling at the conversion of those who might be most in need of God's forgiveness and grace. May we run with hopeful joy to meet your Son each day of our lives, making room in our hearts for his sanctifying presence. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 4 hours ago
"Jesus does not need books or doctors to teach souls. He, the Doctor of doctors, teaches without the noise of words. I have never heard Him speak and yet I know He is in me. At every moment, He guides me and inspires me." - Thérèse of Lisieux Thérèse of Lisieux + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 4 hours ago
And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. - Mark 6:56 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 4 hours ago
Lord, you always provide a way for us to turn back to you. Remind us that there is always hope for the weary, the wounded, the lost, and the contrite of heart. Help us receive this good news and share it with others. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 3 days ago
 I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. - Maya Angelou Maya Angelou + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 3 days ago
When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.’ But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ When they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ - Mark 6:35-38 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 3 days ago
Lord, to know you, we must dwell on the reality of your life, not just your death and resurrection. Remind us of our roots in Nazareth, in Galilee, in Capernaum, in Judea, and on Golgotha. Remind us that a servant is no greater than their Master. Amen. - From Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 3 days ago
1. One Nation, Under God, With 11 Cultures for All. The United States comprises 11 distinct cultures according to Colin Woodard, author of American Nations. See how different issues all stem from the earliest settling of the U.S. Which one do you belong to?2. Why Faith Groups Are Rallying Behind Immigration Reform As the 2013 legislative year winds to a close, immigration reform seems to be pushed down on the agenda once again. Here's a look at why, despite this, faith groups are embracing the importance of reform.3. 'Super' Typhoon Haiyan: Suffering and the Sin of Climate Change Denial Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite writes about the moral evil of storms such as Typhoon Haiyan that caused so many deaths and so much destruction in the Phillipines. For Thistlethwaite, the theological answer to climate change is simple: "confession, repentance, and change."4. Pub Theology Pub Theology brings together millennials, not in church, but in bars for beers and burgers. 5. WATCH: Having a Bad Day? What would it look like if we all cared more about each other? Here are seven things that everyone needs to hear every day.6. For mothers of war dead, Arlington National Cemetery becomes a weekly ritual In the wake of losing their sons, three women join weekly at Arlington Cemetery to remember their sons. Although they didn't anticipate finding community, the women found each other through the proximity of their sons' graves.7. 'You Are Not a Princess' A Kentucky Catholic school's focus on female empowerment has reignited a debate over feminism and religion.8. Feminism Hurts Men A satirical and fresh look at the many ways men are (not) harmed by feminism.9. Urban-Climbing Adventures A series of photos by Tom Ryaboi give dizzying views of city life. "It was important to include people in my photos," Ryaboi said, "because they are the real story here. The cities are beautiful, but how we use them is much more relevant."10. Can God Take a Tweet? And, finally – "The Twible," lets you tweet the Bible, chapter and verse in 140 or fewer characters.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 4 days ago
"We should remain within the limits imposed by our basic needs and strive with all our power not to exceed them. For once we are carried a little beyond these limits in our desire for the pleasures of life, there is then no criterion by which to check our onward movement, since no bounds can be set to that which exceeds the necessary." - Nilus of Ancyra Nilus of Ancyra + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 4 days ago
Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the stall; who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David improvise on instruments of music;  who drink wine from bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away. - Amos 6:4-7 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 4 days ago
Heavenly creator, we pray for the Church, may we continue the evangelical mission of Christ by bringing our faith readily in dialogue with our greater culture. We pray that the Holy Spirit may grant us wisdom for living the Christian faith in our diverse and plural cultural context. We pray for the Holy Spirit to keep us from squandering the gifts and talent with which God blesses us for the love and service of others.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 5 days ago
"The wish to pray is a prayer in itself." - Georges Bernarnos Georges Bernarnos, Diary of a Country Priest + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 5 days ago
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. - John 14:15-17 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 5 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 6 days ago
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. - Audre Lorde Audre Lorde + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 6 days ago
[God] divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap. In the daytime [God] led them with a cloud, and all night long with a fiery light. [God] split rocks open in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. [God] made streams come out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down like rivers. - Psalm 78:13-16 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 36 weeks 6 days ago
O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Thank you God, that each morning you provide a new opportunity for us to follow you. We offer you the best of what we have, what already belongs to you. Let your tender mercies come to us that we might live. Amen. - From Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 4 hours ago
"Peace is not stasis; it is not the absence of violence: where there is isolation, separation and indifference between peoples, conflict can break out at any time. Nor is it simply civility and respect for the law, in which the walls of separation remain firm. Peace, rather, is the counter-dynamic to competition, rivalry and the clash of strengths. Peace can only come when the chain of violence is broken and the weaker members of society are fully welcomed, loved and respected." - Jean Vanier  Jean Vanier + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 4 hours ago
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:31-32 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 4 hours ago
God, we pray that we may continue to proclaim the Gospel faithfully in our diverse world, sharing God's invitation to the fullness of life through our words and deeds. We ask for courage to reach out to the poor, may we encounter the face of Christ through the love we share with one another through acts of charity, justice, and compassion. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 3 days ago
Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others. - Marian Wright Edelman Marian Wright Edelman + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 3 days ago
And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odor, the Lord said in [the Lord's] heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.’  - Genesis 8:21-22 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 3 days ago
Lord, hear our prayer. May we concern ourselves with revealing the kingdom of God through our faithful commitment to the mission of Jesus Christ. We pray for hope in the continued unfolding of the kingdom of God in our midst, trusting in Christ's reign to triump, especially for those who suffer, who lack, who mourn, and who despair. Bless us with the courage to be living signs of God's unfolding reign. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 3 days ago
1. America’s Homeless Kids CrisisDepartment of Education data says the number of homeless youngsters in our country has hit a record high, topping 1 million and representing a 72 percent increase since the beginning of the 2008 recession.  2. 13 Things I Learned About Church History From ‘The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2’Rachel Held Evans in responses to her readings around Reformation Sunday. Among them, Teresa of Avila is the only woman in the history of the church to have founded monastic orders for both women and men, and King James, as in the King James Bible, was probably gay.3. Are Stereotypes Keeping Women Away From Science?We’ve come a long way in our work for women’s rights, but women still make up only 24 percent of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workforce. Giving females confidence in science from a young age may stem the tide.4. ‘12 Years a Slave’ Has Hidden Environmental LessonLand exploitation went hand-in-hand with the subjugation of human beings – and it’s still happening today.5. Incarceration in the United StatesThis infographic from Boston University, explores the numbers behind the high prison population in the U.S. Why is our country’s prison population so large?6. Shots Heard Around D.C.The city is listening through its Shotspotter — sensors that pick up the sounds of gunshots, distinguishing them from firecrackers. In the past eight years, it’s detected 39,000 outdoor gunshots.  7. Uncensored in North KoreaIn a glimpse into a country typically cloaked in secrecy, AP photographer David Guttenfelder shows daily life in North Korea … through Instagram.  8. Edenics, the Theory That Every Language Came From HebrewAn eccentric Jerusalem-based researcher says the secret to the origin of languages lies in the Bible. Isaac E. Mozeson has dedicated his life to exploring the similarities of languages.9. Look, She Can Shrink, She Can GrowShe’s the newest superhero — a Muslim girl who faces familial conflicts and religious tensions, along with supervillians. Kamala Khan, a teenage Muslim girl from Jersey City, will be the latest addition to the Marvel Comics universe. Her creators say the series will explore “the universal experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.”10. Awesome Art Made From Recycled SkateboardsAnd finally what Friday would be complete without some fun colored sculptures. You’ll never believe these sculptures started as skateboards. 
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 4 days ago
Peace originates with the flow of things—its heart is like the movement of the wind and waves. The Way is like the veins that circulate blood through our bodies, following the natural flow of the life force. If you are separated in the slightest from that divine essence, you are far off the path. - Morihei Ueshiba Morihei Ueshiba + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 4 days ago
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and [God] will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ - Revelation 7:16-17 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 4 days ago
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth! Amen. - From A New Zealand Prayer Book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 5 days ago
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. - Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 5 days ago
Yet [God], being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; often [God] restrained [God's] anger, and did not stir up all [God's] wrath. [God] remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not come again. How often they rebelled against [God] in the wilderness and grieved [God] in the desert! - Psalm 78:38-40 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 5 days ago
God of relationships, we pray that your Holy Spirit might make us a community of living stones build firmly on our foundation of Jesus Christ. We pray for our families, that your Holy Spirit may strengthen these relationships--even the ones that are hard--to embody the unconditional and eternal love God has for humankind. Let our faith response to God's love be authentic and may we be unafraid of showing who we are, because of God's grace. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 6 days ago
"The Word of God is not found in the letter of scripture but in the mutual relationship between community and scripture. Thus the meaning of scripture--the Word of God can only be understood within the context of the living community, namely, the church." - Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon  Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 6 days ago
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. - Ephesians 4:25-27 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 37 weeks 6 days ago
God, bless our communities. May the Holy Spirit help us model a pace of life that strives to keep in step with the movement of the Spirit. We pray for the Holy Spirit  to increase our sense of faith, so that we can eagerly accept God's invitation to the eternal banquet of heaven. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 hours ago
"The world is not to be put in order; the world is order, incarnate. It is for us to harmonize with this order." - Henry Miller Henry Miller + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 hours ago
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death. Good sense wins favor, but the way of the faithless is their ruin. The clever do all things intelligently, but the fool displays folly. A bad messenger brings trouble, but a faithful envoy, healing. - Proverbs 13:14-17 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 hours ago
Lord, hear our prayer. May the Holy Spirit help to root us in our Gospel mission and identity. You desire truth in the inward being; teach us wisdom in our hearts. May the Holy Spirit also guide our outward expressions of love in daily actions. May we use our gifts to serve our communities, so that our fellowship may truly reveal your Word to the world around us. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 3 days ago
1. 17 Stunning Images of All Saints Day Around the WorldThe Guardian pictorially circles the globe to offer beautiful images of All Saints Day celebrations and remembrances. In Western Christianity — mainly Catholicism — this Nov. 1 holy day is meant to honor all of the saints, known and unknown.2. Is Youth Ministry Killing the Church?Churches and denominations continue in their pursuit of truly diverse congregations. But are we missing one area of diversity — age — by offering separate youth programs? Here's one former youth minister's take.3. Germany OKs 'Indeterminate' Gender At BirthGermany has become the first European country to allow parents to leave "gender" blank on their child's birth certificate when they exhibit characteristics of both sexes.4. Pastor Says Ministers Who Voted For Obama Should Resign. Maybe He Should Go FirstIn his Faith & Culture blog, Jonathan Merritt takes on Pastor Doug Wilson, who says ministers who voted for a second President Barack Obama term "should not be entrusted with the care of souls." 5. 'Oh No Canada:' Check Out the 6 Posters Illustrating Canada's Alleged Silencing of Tar Sands CriticsFranke James claims her name was found on a Canadian government "enemy list" because of her anti-tar sands activism. So, the artist created this series of posters, now up at Washington, D.C., bus stops. Take a look at the slideshow.6. WATCH: 'Princess Bride' Star Mandy Patinkin Reveals His Favorite Line in the FilmThe star of screen and stage — and now hit Showtime series Homeland — takes us back to the classic film The Princess Bride to talk about his favorite line … and the poignancy behind it may surprise you. Watch, if only to surface nostalgia when he recites lines in the Inigo Montoya accent.7. Why Forgiving Others is So Hard Yet So LiberatingA beautiful reflection by Chad Bird: "They didn’t owe me an apology; they didn’t owe me repentance, tears, promises of improvement, vows never to repeat what they’d done. Nothing is what they owed me. So I crawled out of the hollow divinity I’d fashioned, threw it in the trash to rust, and said those frightening yet liberating words: I forgive you."8. WATCH: Photographer Puts Two Strangers Together for Intimate Photographs, and the Results Are SurprisingIf a photographer stopped you on the street and asked you to pose with a complete stranger as if he was a boyfriend, brother, or best friend, what would your response be? Watch these fascinating results.9. Lamenting My Prejudice Against Beautiful WomenIs overt femininity, by definition, shallow? While many of us wouldn't put it quite so starkly, it tends to be an underlying, if unconscious, assumption. (See: blowback against Zooey Deschanel "girly girl" image). Over at Christianity Today's her.meneutics blog, Katelyn Beaty confesses her own blown assumptions after attending an all-women's conference. "They gave me a new model for what it means to lead as a woman—not as a woman trying to hide their femininity, like so many women in leadership, especially in male-oriented workplaces, feel they must do."10. WATCH (Again): Boy Won't Leave Pope Francis' SideBecause it's adorable — and it's Friday; that's why.