Hagar: Precious in God’s Sight

Read Hagar’s story: Genesis 16 and 21:9-20 Hagar comes up in this Sunday's lectionary, and her story could not be more timely, especially as our faith communities consider the sins of racism and oppression. She was many things: a slave and nemesis to Sarah; the first person in the Bible to name God (she called him El-Roi, "O God of seeing;...

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Give me that living water!

3 Lent, Year C Lindsay Hardin Freeman Give me that living water! From the Gospel of John, chapter 4: “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?” And so says the Samaritan woman — a skeptical, assertive, and bright woman — who argues with Jesus as does no one else in the Bible. Authentic and...

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Lydia: A woman of purple

Lydia’s story Lydia’s biblical story begins near water, where she has gone to pray. A merchant with a flourishing business in purple cloth, she greets women friends on the riverbank outside the little town of Philippi. From there (now modern-day Greece), she keeps up with personal relationships and hears news from travelers near and far. She is peaceful yet attentive, good...

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Vashti, Esther and Dr. Ford

Hildegard of Bingen once said, "Secrets make us sick." For that reason, I'm glad that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is speaking publicly. No longer will she hold in what she remembers as a terrifying incident. This Sunday, Esther's story will be read aloud in churches across the country (Track #1 in the lectionary). It is an important story, and Esther ranks...

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Jesus and the Syrophoenician Woman: Strength from each other

From a sermon preached at St. Nick’s, Richfield September 9, 2018 Jesus and the Syrophoenician Woman: Strength from each other Our Gospel story for today is one of the most controversial in the New Testament. I love this story, because we get to see two things: a determined, outspoken, quick-witted woman, one of only 18 whose words are recorded in the New...

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Mary Magdalene: Peering into the darkness

Peering into the darkness. Talking about it. It’s what women do. And at this time in history, when women are looking squarely into the darkness of sexual misconduct, rape, and gun violence, we in the religious life delve deep into the story of women who peered into the darkness, found their souls transformed, and changed history. Mary, the mother of Jesus, saw...

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Pontius Pilate: You should have listened to your wife

The story of Jesus’ life and death could have turned out differently, had Pontius Pilate listened to his wife. Kind and intuitive (and unnamed), she is known for these few words: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man [Jesus], for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” Matthew 27:19 Allow me to paint the story....

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