Joe Kay is the associate minister at Nexus United Church of Christ, Butler County, Ohio. He also writes a weekly blog at https://joekay617.wordpress.com. His email address is listed on the blog, in case you care to contact him directly.
Posts By This Author
Our Work Isn’t Done When Election Day Is Over
Vote today. Choose the candidates you think represent the best chance to bring God’s values of love, inclusion, justice, healing, and compassion into our world.
Death Cannot Separate Us From Love
Creation is all one thing, like a giant blanket. There are many threads on the blanket, all woven tightly together. When someone dies, they move from one thread to an adjacent one, but they’re still wrapped snugly around us, and not just in some metaphorical way.
Are Your Words Prophetic or Poisonous?
We’ve gotten yet another reminder of the power of words in the past few days. A man immersed in racist words killed black people in a Kentucky grocery store. A man immersed in fearful words sent bombs to people labeled as threats. A man immersed in anti-Semitic words killed Jewish people in their synagogue.
You Still Have the Power to Change the World. Use It
Do you feel powerless to challenge and change the deeply entrenched privilege that was on display last week? Don’t give into that feeling. You have the power to change the world. Look at how it’s changing already.
Thinking We Are Powerless Is Abandoning Faith
Jewish wisdom reminds us that we can’t be daunted by the world’s grief, but instead we are required to respond to it by acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly. We’re not obligated to complete the work of transformation, but we’re never free to abandon it, either.
The Courage to Challenge Caesar
Courage is an indispensable part of love, faith, and relationship. They exist only to the extent that we have the courage to take a risk and try to live them. Courage is the foundation of faith. Jesus often encourages his followers to live bravely because the kingdom of God grows only to the extent that we have the courage to enact it.
How Faith and Science Work Together
It’s a magical experience watching fireflies rise from the ground at dusk and blink their way high into the trees, performing their light show against the night sky. When I learned the science behind how the bugs make their light — a process called bioluminescence — it didn’t make them any less magical to me. Rather, my new insights made me appreciate them more.
In a Cave Or on the Border, They Are All Our Children
Our humanity and our faith insist that we identify with a child taken from their parent’s protective arms and sent off with strangers in a foreign land with no guarantee they’ll ever feel their parent’s embrace again. Our hearts are lifeless — and our faith meaningless — if we can’t identify with such a child or such a parent.
What Are We Doing With Our Freedom?
There’s always been a deep tension between those who believe the powerful words about freedom for all and those who believe that such freedom should be reserved to them alone. There have always been those who believe that their personal freedom is unbreakable but the freedom of others can be rationed.
The Perverted Theology That Supports Family Separation
People of all religions and political leanings are speaking up against the administration’s policy of taking children from parents — but that’s not enough. We also must challenge the ideology that produces these human indignities, the mindset that supports them, and the perverted theology that blesses them. Those things have been around from our country’s beginning.
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