Text Study for 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; 2 Epiphany B

The freedom of Christians was a major issue for the Corinthian Christians. It is likely that a number of members of the congregation were slaves and former slaves. It may well be that some slaves and masters were members of the congregation together. This sociological reality by itself would raise some big questions for a Christian community (just read Paul’s Letter to Philemon for a window into that can of worms). Here Paul tries to resolve the tension between freedom in Christ and the obedience of faith.

As he thinks about freedom in Christ, Paul makes an analogy with the human body. He will return to this analogy in chapters 10 through 13, but his usage there will be a bit different.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

First, he briefly notes that just because we can eat anything we want doesn’t mean that we should eat everything we want. There is a right relationship between food and the stomach that defines freedom. It is not an exercise of freedom to eat until you make yourself sick. That’s an expression of an addiction to food. So freely adopting healthy boundaries is not a concession to law or works. Rather, it is a way of being more of who we are created to be in Christ.

Frank L. Crouch develops this in his workingpreacher.org commentary. “Soon, what I chose freely…can dominate my life.  I will no longer be free. The cosmos does not actually revolve around me.  God, by grace, can set us free from those dominations, but even though the power to be free is immediate, the way back to health will still be long and hard.  Paul cautions us to choose our paths carefully lest the things we freely choose become our undoing or become an imposition on our neighbors and, collectively, foster suffering or oppression.”

Paul quickly moves the analogy on to the dimensions of sexual freedom and obligation in a marriage. Remaining faithful within a marriage covenant is not a restriction of freedom. Rather, having sexual relations with a prostitute constitutes the bondage. Sexual relations create a bond with another person regardless of the assumed relationship or lack thereof. To treat those relations as of no consequence is to make oneself a slave to connections not of one’s choosing.

Melanie Howard puts it well in her workingpreacher.org commentary.

“We might better understand Paul’s analogy here by considering his teachings on the marriage union later in 1 Corinthians 7. In the context of that discussion, Paul emphasizes that a married individual cedes authority of their body to their spouse (7:4). The verb that Paul uses there is the same one from 6:12 where he quotes the Corinthians’ own words against them. Thus, a connection emerges between these two chapters. An individual becomes one flesh with their spouse (6:16) and thus grants authority to the spouse over that flesh (7:4). In the same way, one becomes one spirit with Christ (1:17) and thus grants authority to Christ over both flesh and spirit alike.”

Paul has chosen two body analogies that rely on the image of union with something “outside” of oneself. Food is consumed and becomes part of one’s body. Sexual relations are an exchange of bodily integrity, and the partners become part of one another’s bodies. These analogies help Paul make the point that the Holy Spirit enters the believer from outside and unites the believer, body and all, to the Lord.

So, on the one hand, the analogy allows Paul to use a couple of familiar and graphic images to help the Corinthian believers understand what he is saying. On the other hand, he can reverse the analogy to help the Corinthian believers understand that unhealthy relationships with sex and food will interfere with one’s freedom in Christ. Those unhealthy relationships may be “lawful” in the sense that Christians are not bound by the Mosaic law. But they are not helpful or useful to the individual believer or to the community.

Valerie Nicolet-Anderson puts it this way on her workingpreacher.org commentary. “For Paul, freedom is always oriented freedom; and for the Christ believers, this freedom depends on their lord, Christ. Through their baptism, the Christ believers now belong to Christ. For them the question is no longer what is permitted or not, or what is legal or not. Rather, they have to orient their freedom in order to embody their new life in Christ

Therefore, the misuse of God’s gifts can put us deeper in bondage. So, Paul says that in freedom in Christ he will not be “dominated” by anything.  The Greek word literally means to under the power of something or someone.

We should be clear that for Paul, the modern ideal of personal autonomy is not good news at all. If you belong to no one, you are completely on your own. When things go wrong, no one will help you. You have no way to know who you are. And you will wander isolated through a heartless world. Lest we think that Paul is hopelessly old-fashioned in this regard, let’s remember the pathological prevalence of loneliness in this culture that champions individual freedom from constricting connections.

Paul is sure that we will either belong to sin, death, and evil, or we will belong to Christ. Israel Kamudzandu offers this discussion on his workingpreacher.org commentary.

The point of “glorifying God,” individually or communally is Paul’s final message that human bodies belong to God. Theologically, Paul offers a new vision, one that builds the ecclesial community where individuals gather as the body of Christ. In a world where people are torn between rights and Spiritual faith, Paul calls believers to live a countercultural way of life — a life of discipline and discernment. The life being called for is one in which one ceases to be a free-range individual but one who submits to the authority of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Luther devotes one of his most important treatises to the topic of Christian freedom. “One thing and one thing alone is necessary for the Christian life, righteousness, and freedom,” Luther writes in The Freedom of the Christian, “and that is the most holy word of God, the Gospel of Christ” (page 490). From his Small Catechism, we know that the Holy Spirit has called us into Christ through the Gospel. Therefore, the work of the Holy Spirit is the work that makes us free. As Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians, no one can even say “Jesus is Lord,” except by the power of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit calls us through the Gospel and creates in us the gift of faith, Luther says. That gift forms our souls for love for God and neighbor. That faith regards God as truthful and deserving of our absolute trust. And that faith “unites the soul with Christ, like a bride with a bridegroom” (page 499).

We find ourselves back in 1 Corinthians territory (although Luther most likely had the words of Ephesians 5 in mind here). This union brings about the “wonderful exchange” at the heart of Luther’s theology. “Accordingly,” he writes, “the faithful soul can both assume as its own whatever Christ has and glory in it, and whatever is the soul’s Christ claims for himself as his own” (page 500).

This wonderful exchange frees us from any need to placate or please God with our works, wealth or worry. We can therefore devote ourselves fully to loving service toward the neighbor. “In this life,” Luther writes, “a person’s own body must be ruled and be in relation with other human beings” (page 511). Like Paul, Luther understands freedom as a “oriented freedom” rather than mere autonomy. Freedom must serve a purpose, otherwise it lapses into bondage to the self.

The Christian ideal is not a detached personal autonomy but rather faith active in love. Just as Paul talks about the relationship between healthy boundaries and spiritual freedom, Luther makes the point. “The purpose of putting the body in subjection,” he writes, “is so that it can serve more genuinely and more freely” (page 520). Luther takes a couple of paragraphs to point out that this is the rational for keeping oneself healthy and fit, so that we “can protect and support those who are in need” (page 520).

We live in this way because the Holy Spirit fills us with the freeing power of Christ for lives of meaning and purpose. We are made for loving service, and living that way makes us most fully alive in Christ. “Therefore, I will give myself as a kind of Christ to my neighbor,” Luther writes, just as Christ offered himself to me [notice “to me” rather than “for me”!]. I will do nothing in this life except what I see will be necessary, advantageous, and salutary to me neighbor,” Luther concludes, “because through faith I am overflowing with all good things in Christ” (page 524).

It’s not surprising that Paul brings a conclusion to this central section of the letter in chapter thirteen with his poem on love. Overflowing with all good things in Christ for the sake of the neighbor is how Luther defines and describes that love. And that loving service is the essence of what it means to live free in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

References and Resources

https://history.nebraska.gov/blog/lest-we-forget-lynching-will-brown-omaha%E2%80%99s-1919-race-riot.

Crouch, Frank L. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/second-sunday-after-epiphany-2/commentary-on-1-corinthians-612-20

Frankfurt, Harry G. On Bullshit. Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Glaude, Eddie S. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. New York: Crown, 2020.

Howard, Melanie. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/second-sunday-after-epiphany-2/commentary-on-1-corinthians-612-20-5

Kashdan, Todd. Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.

Luther, Martin. Martin Luther’s Large Catechism. Bente and Dau, 2012.

Luther, Martin (Timothy Wengert). Luther’s Small Catechism with Evangelical Lutheran Worship Texts. Minneapolis, MN.: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2008.

Morris, Jerome. “Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth? Race, Class, and African American Schooling and Community in the Urban South and Midwest.” American Education Research Journal, Spring 2004.

Nicolet-Anderson, Valerie. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/second-sunday-after-epiphany-2/commentary-on-1-corinthians-612-20-3

Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017.

Ruge-Jones, Phil. The Word of the Cross and The Word of Glory. Minneapolis, Mn.: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2008.

Taylor, Barbara Brown. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2009.

Wengert, Timothy J. The Freedom of a Christian 1520 (The Annotated Luther Study Edition). Minneapolis, Mn.: Fortress Press, 2016.

Wessel-McCoy, Colleen. https://kairoscenter.org/can-anything-good-come-nazareth-sermon-celebrating-martin-luther-king/

Text Study for 1 Samuel 3:1-10 — Close Listening

Speak,” Samuel says as he was instructed, “for your servant is listening.” The word for listening is shema, the same root word we get in Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel…” Let us, therefore, meditate on “listening.”

Listening is inherently receptive. We can turn our heads and tune our perceptions, but we cannot go and get the sound. It comes to us, and we can accept or reject it. Reading is a different experience. Reading is more like hunting. It can be invasive, acquisitive, almost greedy to take and hold and manipulate information.

I think about the different ways we can access books. I am a pretty steady reader, and I prefer reading to listening when I am interacting with nonfiction work. That’s mostly what I read, so I don’t listen much. When it comes to fiction, however, I find listening more effective and much more pleasing. Stories are meant to be heard, received, and accepted.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

If you are a parent, you may know the joy of reading books to your small children (and the mild agony of reading the same favorite book a hundred times aloud in the course of a month). I have never outgrown the pleasure of being on the receiving end of such experiences.

If you have read some of my “Throwback Thursday Books” posts, you’ll know that some of my lifetime favorites first came to me as beloved teachers read them aloud. I could close my eyes, take a deep breath, and be carried to a world not of my own construction. I could be swept into a reality greater than myself and beyond my control. “Ecstasy” is the experience of being taken beyond oneself. Listening to a good story can be, for me, an ecstatic adventure.

Paul’s letters were read aloud to his house churches long before they became written “scripture” in a codex. “So faith comes from what is heard,” Paul writes to the Roman Christians, “and what is heard comes through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Those Christians heard that word of, or about, Christ before they read it. In fact, nine out of ten of them likely could not have read it if they wanted to do so. Scholars estimate that about ninety percent of Romans were illiterate in the first century.

“Most believers in the early communities of faith did not encounter the Word of God captured in ink on paper as we do today,” writes Phil Ruge-Jones. “Rather, they heard God’s Word spoken with a multitude of inflections traveling from the mouth of one believer to the ears of another, or to a whole community of believers at one time. The Word made flesh,” he notes, “was delivered by flesh and blood” (page 17).

Ruge-Jones notes that the gospel story, at least in Mark’s version, was likely first transmitted by story-telling and ecstatic listening. He is one of a number of contemporary scholars and preachers who have committed the gospel to memory and can present it at one telling, taking approximately two hours. Many of us have experienced such a dramatic re-telling of the story. I find it compelling in ways that reading the gospel story does not produce.

It is perhaps not surprising that Martin Luther called the church a mundhaus, a “mouth house” or a house for speaking. It is a house for speaking and hearing the Word of God. When Luther explains the commandment on Sabbath-keeping in his Small Catechism, he describes our fear and love of God as not despising preaching or God’s word but rather keeping that word holy and gladly hearing and learning it.

Speak, Luther says, for your servant is listening. The illustration of this commandment included in the 1536 Wittenberg edition shows Mary at the feet of Jesus, listening as he teaches (see Luke 10:38-42). In fact, Luther says in his Large Catechism, it is the Word of God that sanctifies the day, not the other way around. “At whatever hour then, God’s Word is taught, preached, heard, read, or meditated upon, there the person, day, and work are sanctified thereby, not because of the external work,” he says, “but because of the Word which makes saints of us all” (page 29).

This speaking of the Word and our listening is used by the Holy Spirit to transform us day by day. The Word is the incarnate power of God, enacted by the Spirit to create faith. Luther writes, “such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts” (page 30).

Luther echoes the promise of Isaiah 55:10-11 – “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Samuel’s obedient reply to the Lord’s call is the end of today’s lectionary reading. That may be just as well. The next paragraph has news, we learn, “that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.” The Lord will punish the house of Eli for the systematic theft and arrogant abuse committed by Eli’s sons in the course of their priestly offices. Eli is held responsible, we learn, “because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.” The punishment “shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”

Tingling ears and all, Samuel goes to Eli and – at Eli’s command – repeats all the judgment he has heard. It is the end of the House of Eli and the beginning of the career of Samuel the Great. The Word of God will not return empty, but sometimes the purpose is judgment rather than salvation. In either case, Samuel’s response is the listening that leads to obedient trust.

However, judgment is, according to Luther, the “alien work” of the Word. We will hear things that cause us to babble and blush, to tremble and trip, as our brokenness is revealed. That strange work is necessary to clear the way for the Word to do its proper work in our hearts – to convert and save us. The Holy Spirit creates in us the faith we need to have a living relationship with God through the cross and resurrection of Christ. We’ll look more closely at the Spirit’s work in this regard in the comments on the second reading from 1 Corinthians 6.

The proper work of the Word is salvation. That Word comes to us as a gift, as the Word made flesh in terms of John 1. In that gospel reading we witness the drama of not hearing and then hearing that Word. When Nathanael hears the Word made flesh, he is then equipped to see the world with new eyes. But Jesus cautions him at that point as well. Are you impressed by the special effects, Nathanael? You ain’t seen nothing yet! We who have heard the story know, of course, that the place where angels descend and ascend will be the empty tomb that comes only after the Word of the Cross.

“The word of the cross is not just a doctrine,” writes Phil Ruge-Jones,” though it is grounded in doctrine. It is not a theory about what happened between God and Jesus on the cross, although that event shapes it radically. Above all,” he concludes, “the word of the cross is a way of seeing the world from the perspective of the brokenness caused by our quests for glory” (page 88). That last sentence is as good a summary of John’s gospel as one could hope to find. In the gospel reading, Nathanael is just beginning the journey toward that conclusion.

Speak, your servant is listening.” This is a text that holds a large place in my own spiritual journey. Samuel has instructed me many times on how to wait and listen for the Word necessary for my time and place. That listening has been life to me literally on more than one occasion. And it is life to me again in The Pandemic.

It is so easy to take for granted our access to hearing the Word in more “normal” times. For some of us, however, The Pandemic has been a bit of a famine of the Word. I find myself almost desperate for good preaching Sunday in and Sunday out. I confess that I often hear half a dozen such sermons online on any given Sunday. I must thank Merle Brockhoff, Tobi White, Carm Aderman, Susan Friedrich, and Victoria Parker-Mothershead for their messages over these past months. We have been sustained for the journey.

So Nathanel’s question is replaced by Samuel’s answer. That seems like progress to me.

References and Resources

https://history.nebraska.gov/blog/lest-we-forget-lynching-will-brown-omaha%E2%80%99s-1919-race-riot.

Frankfurt, Harry G. On Bullshit. Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Glaude, Eddie S. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. New York: Crown, 2020.

Kashdan, Todd. Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.

Luther, Martin. Martin Luther’s Large Catechism. Bente and Dau, 2012.

Luther, Martin (Timothy Wengert). Luther’s Small Catechism with Evangelical Lutheran Worship Texts. Minneapolis, MN.: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2008.

Morris, Jerome. “Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth? Race, Class, and African American Schooling and Community in the Urban South and Midwest.” American Education Research Journal, Spring 2004.

Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017.

Ruge-Jones, Phil. The Word of the Cross and The Word of Glory. Minneapolis, Mn.: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2008.

Taylor, Barbara Brown. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2009.

Wessel-McCoy, Colleen. https://kairoscenter.org/can-anything-good-come-nazareth-sermon-celebrating-martin-luther-king/

Text Study for John 1:43-51 (pt. 2): Fear of Finding Out

Why did Nathanael resist Philip’s good news? Perhaps he couldn’t get out of his own way long enough to take in something outside his frame of reference. If I know everything already, any suggestion of something new is a threatening falsehood. If we are to grow and flourish, we must suffer this self-centered certainty to be dismantled. “The great wisdom traditions of the world all recognize,” writes Barbara Brown Taylor in An Altar in the World, “that the main impediment to living a life of meaning is being self-absorbed” (page 91).

Taylor thinks, for example, about why the ancient Christian Desert Mothers and Fathers lived in some semblance of community, even in their pursuit of personal holiness. “The deeper reason they needed one another,” she writes, “was to save them from the temptation of believing in their own self-sufficiency” (page 91). Perhaps the illusion of his own self-sufficiency is Nathanael’s problem as well.

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.com

The problem with self-absorbed self-sufficiency is that it makes us pathologically self-centered. Perhaps this is a good psychological description of the experience of sin: self-centered, self-absorbed, self-sufficiency. St. Augustine gave it a shorter description seventeen hundred years ago. We are incurvatus in se, Latin for “curved inward on oneself.” Luther agreed completely with this description of the human condition. But it’s a hard sell in selfie-land.

This inward turning refuses trust and embraces certainty. This certainty might masquerade as strength and even bravado. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” is a question asked from behind such a mask. The disguise hides our fundamental fears and insecurities. In a world shaped by 09/11/2000, the Great Recession, resurgent white supremacy, and Covid-19 (just to hit the low spots), our fears are off the charts.

So, our desire for the safety and stability of certainty is nearly irresistible. “Fear tempts us to make safety and self-preservation our highest goals,” Scott Bader-Saye writes in Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear, “and when we do so our moral focus becomes the protection of our lives and health. Security becomes,” Bader-Saye continues, “the new idol before whom all other gods must bow” (page 28). I’m not sure there is a better nutshell description of the first quarter of this century than Bader-Saye’s words. He is surely describing our current American reality, even though he wrote his words prior to 2008.

It should be no mystery why I find this riff on the gospel text necessary and compelling. The aggressive and hostile rejection of anything different and destabilizing is a hallmark of our current social setting and of life in large parts of the Christian church in America.

The recent and somewhat bizarre attack, for example, launched by Southern Baptist seminary presidents on the sociological disciplines of critical race theory and intersectionality shows how easy it is for fear to overdetermine our perceptions, our thoughts, our judgments, and our actions. Can anything good for Christians come out of the social sciences? Not, apparently, if you are a white Southern Baptist theologian.

“In a culture of fear, the short answer to ‘What is going on?’ is ‘We are at risk’ or ‘We are in danger,’ writes Bader-Saye. “Insofar as we accept that answer as our dominant description of the world, our lives will be shaped by…self preservation…Our moral vision becomes tunnel vision. Fear becomes the ambient background to our lives,” Bader-Saye concludes, “rather than a proper response to a concrete and passing threat” (page 27). In such a setting, responses to disorienting dispatches from life are reduced to derisive snorts on social media. Nathanael’s snotty question would have slid comfortably into the rhetoric of the Twitterverse.

We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote,” Philip gasps, “Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Confronted with that destabilizing bit of news, Nathanael goes on the rhetorical attack.  Fortunately for Nathanael and for us, Philip appeals to the small nugget of curiosity still resting in Nathanael’s guts. “Come and see!” This is the first step in answering the call to “come and follow.” Curiosity requires at least a small dose of courage.

“Our brains are hardwired for curiosity,” writes Todd Kashdan in his book entitled (oddly enough) Curious? “along with its neural twin, worry” (page 44). He reminds us that we are wired for the worst. We all live with an onboard “negativity bias.” Studies have shown repeatedly that we are at least twice as sensitive to threats as we are to opportunities.

That makes perfect sense, of course. If we miss an opportunity for something, we might go hungry for a while. If we miss a threat, we might become some other creature’s dinner. So, other things being equal, we tend to regard new information with some degree of suspicion. Nathanael is our sibling in that suspicion.

What does it take to open us to new information and perspectives? Kashdan describes the “positivity effect.” This is what takes over when we feel safe. In that setting, he writes, “We show a slight bias to explore new things and seek out new experiences. We are pulled toward rewards and excitement. Without this offset,” Kashdan concludes, “we would never learn, stretch, grow, or evolve” (page 46).

What does it take for us to entertain a new thought? Harder still, what does it take for us to entertain a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing and understanding the world? Now we can entertain a bit of exegetical empathy for Nathanael.

After all, Philip is proposing a scriptural non sequitur. The one about whom Moses and the prophets wrote is the Messiah. The Messiah should come from Jerusalem – or at least somewhere in King David’s old neighborhood. The Messiah should have royal and priestly connections, and those trappings should be obvious. The Messiah should come equipped with horse, sword, shield, and retainers. What Philip suggests is sheer nonsense. To even entertain the possibility means that Nathanael must be open to a new view of his world.

Philip issues the invitation – “Come and see.” Nathanael apparently regards him as a trustworthy source of information, because Nathanael goes and looks. The invitation comes in the context of a trusted relationship. That’s worth noting as we think about our own opportunities for witnessing to the reality of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (one of the underlying themes of the season of Epiphany). Philip makes no claims and requires no agreement. He’s not selling or persuading or invading. He takes the risk to extend a gracious invitation to someone he knows and loves. Then, it seems, he goes with him.

Perhaps we have a couple of models or types at work in this text. Nathanael is the legitimately skeptical truth-seeker who has, perhaps, been burned by more than one would-be Messiah in the last few years. He’s close enough to the religious establishment to see that large parts of that establishment are morally and spiritually bankrupt – in bed with the Roman oppressors and making big money off their complicity. If Nathanael were no longer interested, however, he might not have responded with the veiled aggression of his question.

Nathanael is still looking. But perhaps he’s tired of being disappointed.

Philip is a witness to the light, to use the words of John’s prologue. He facilitates a meeting between Nathanael and Jesus. I wonder if there is a better description of the witnessing job. Jesus sees Nathanael as he is – not just a snarky tweeter but rather an Israelite in whom there is no bullshit. That authentic interaction is at the heart of this text.

Nathanael is not interested in scoring debating points. He wants truth, which makes him the opposite of what Harry Frankfurt calls a bullshitter. “It is just this lack of connection to a concern with truth—this indifference to how things really are,” Frankfurt writes in On Bullshit, “that I regard as of the essence of bullshit” (pages 33-34). Nathanael models the sincere seeker who hopes that this time curiosity might be a wiser path than fear.

What Nathanael gets is a whole new understanding of the cosmos and a promise that he ain’t seen nothing yet. What he gets is the call to be a disciple. “Christian discipleship, that is, following Jesus, will mean surrendering the power that masquerades as security in order to love the neighbor and welcome the stranger,” writes Bader Saye. “It will mean avoiding the safe path in order to pursue the good” (page 22). “Nathanael” can mean either “God has given,” or “Gift of God.” It would seem that both are true translations in this context.

Avoiding the safe path in order to pursue the good – perhaps we find ourselves back in the previous post. Loving the neighbor and welcoming the stranger are not safe paths as we challenge personal and systemic white supremacy. But they are good.

References and Resources

https://history.nebraska.gov/blog/lest-we-forget-lynching-will-brown-omaha%E2%80%99s-1919-race-riot.

Frankfurt, Harry G. On Bullshit. Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Glaude, Eddie S. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. New York: Crown, 2020.

Kashdan, Todd. Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.

Morris, Jerome. “Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth? Race, Class, and African American Schooling and Community in the Urban South and Midwest.” American Education Research Journal, Spring 2004.

Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017.

Taylor, Barbara Brown. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2009.

Wessel-McCoy, Colleen. https://kairoscenter.org/can-anything-good-come-nazareth-sermon-celebrating-martin-luther-king/