The Common Good

Blog Posts By God's Politics Editor

Posted by God's Politics Editor 23 weeks 2 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 23 weeks 3 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 23 weeks 3 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 23 weeks 3 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 23 weeks 4 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 23 weeks 4 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 23 weeks 4 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 23 weeks 5 days 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 23 weeks 5 days 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 23 weeks 5 days 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 24 weeks 1 day 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.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 1 day ago
"There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity." - Elise Boulding Elise Boulding + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 1 day ago
A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’ - Mark 3:32-35 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 1 day ago
God, may we strive to live an authentic life of faith, accepting God's loving invitation to relationship. May God the Holy Spirit grant us wisdom and direction through the example of faithful people who live God's gift of life to the fullest. We honor the could of witness that surround your heavenly throne. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 2 days ago
American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, the documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class, and opportunity. American Promise is an Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 2 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 2 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 2 days ago
 Lord, hear our prayer for the Church. May our lives be faithful to the new covenant God has established for us through God's own Son, who calls us by name to share in his mission of the good news. Send us your Spirit to help make us faithful to the covenant as we follow the way of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 3 days ago
The Criminal Justice Degree Hub released an infographic on mass incarceration in the U.S. titled "Locked Up In America." According to the extensive graphic, the U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's prisoners.Check out the graphic here. 
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 3 days ago
 "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 3 days ago
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. - Psalm 22:1-2 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 3 days ago
Bring us to repentance, Lord. We pray for the Church, that we may find healing when we fall short of acting as the body of Christ. We pray for true spiritual conversion in our hearts, that the Spirit of God may guide us to change our selfish ways and turn more fully toward God. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 4 days ago
While it's not uncommon to hear the terms "Tea Party" and "libertarian" uttered in the same descriptor, a new survey shows the gap between the two movements. According to the new American Values Survey, an annual release from the Public Religion Research Institute, a full 61 percent of libertarians do not consider themselves part of the Tea Party.“While conventional wisdom has assumed that the Tea Party movement is fueled by libertarian convictions, most libertarians see themselves as outside of the Tea Party movement. Notably, libertarians are also half as likely as those who identify with the Tea Party movement to see themselves as part of the older Christian right movement," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, in a news release.In fact, only one in five libertarians claim affiliation with the religious right or conservative Christianity — a claim that more than half of Tea Party adherents would make.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 4 days ago
"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." - Robert M. Persig Robert M. Persig + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 4 days ago
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions. Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple. - Psalm 65:3-4 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 4 days ago
God, we keep inventing ourselves and our underneath selves turn out to be less than adequate and we wish we were other than we are. We juggle your good purposes and our hidden yearnings and try to serve two masters, try to live two narratives, try to live two dreams, and we are weary. Gives us patience and stead fastness as we process the ragged edges of our lives. Amen. -Adapted from Prayers for a Priviledged People by Walter Brueggemann
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 5 days ago
Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perserveance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. - Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 5 days ago
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from [God]. [God] alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. - Psalm 62:5-6 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 24 weeks 5 days ago
Set our hears aflame, Lord! We pray for the fractured body of Christ, may the Spirit of God continue to inspire us to reach unity. May the Christian life we share together find many authentic forms of expression in our worship, teach, fellowship, service, and ministries.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 1 day ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 1 day ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 1 day ago
God in heaven, and empower us through the Spirit to become heralds of your reign to those aroudn us. We pray for openness to the movement of the Spirit in our lives, may we readily embody the fruits of the Spirit in our relationships. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
1. All of Christendom Responds to Mark Driscoll's Jesus Was Not a 'Pansy' Remarks But this one in particular, from Eternity Bible College's blog, comes from a writer who views himself as generally likeminded to Driscoll. And yet he states,"Mark’s assumption that pacifists are pansies is historically naïve, theologically horrendous, and shows that Mark’s been more influenced by the worldview of those who put Jesus on the cross rather than the One who hung on it."2. Women Gain as Gender Gap 'Narrows' According to a World Economic Forum report, the gap between men and women has decreased in most places around the world, taking into account political participation, economic equality, and rights to health and education. Check out which countries made the top 20, and which are sadly lagging behind … like … 3. Saudi Police Warn of Crackdown on 'Day of Female Driving' Protest Saturday has been organized as the 'Day of Female Driving' in Saudi Arabia. While women were given the right to vote in 2011, they still are subject to a driving ban in the kingdom. 4. NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders After U.S. Official Handed Over Contacts The Guardian reports on the latest round of Edward Snowden leaks that reveal the National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 unnamed world leaders. This comes on the heels of allegations from Der Speigel that the U.S. monitored phone calls of German chancellor Angela Merkel — allegations that the White House has denied.5. For When You Marry Wrong Grace at A Deeper Story brings us the gut-wrenching truth of a marriage based on love and good intentions that devolves through no one's fault, and examines what to do with that reality in a Christian context. "What, for example, does God suggest for two people with the personality of freight trains heading right for one another with ALL the world’s stubborn pride embodied in these two married souls?"6. WATCH: 'American Jesus' Trailer Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? That's the question posed in the trailer for an upcoming film exploring the various facets of American Christianity, and how our culture shapes how faith in Christ is viewed. 7. Twitter, Women, and Power As Twitter preps to go public, Nick Kristof at The New York Times points out the disappointing fact that their board consists of seven white men, and interestingly, "Research suggests that what matters is having a critical mass of about 30 percent women. In Twitter’s case, if it added three women, its board would still have as many men named Peter as it had women."8. The American Church's Absence of Lament Writing for a Sojourners blog series on the conversation of race in America, Soong-Chan Rah examines the American church's need for, and shrinking away from, true lament — lament for past wrongs, and the ones we continue to inflict whether intentionally or through our own apathy.9. 'Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus' YouTube Sensation Releases New Book (READ EXCERPT) Jefferson Bethke became a YouTube celebrity with his 2012 spoken-word video 'Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.' MSNBC's Morning Joe welcomed the 23-year-old this morning and released an excerpt of the book, Jesus>Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough. In it, Bethke says, "We’ve lost the real Jesus — or at least exchanged him for a newer, safer, sanitized, ineffectual one. We’ve created a Christian subculture that comes with its own set of customs, rules, rituals, paradigms, and products that are nowhere near the rugged, revolutionary faith of biblical Christianity. In our subculture Jesus would have never been crucified — he’s too nice."10. The Bishop of Bling A $20,000 bathtub and heated roof on a private chapel are just a couple of the expenses that earned a German Catholic priest the moniker "Bishop of Bling." He's now been suspended by Pope Francis. Will other spend-happy clergy take note?
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." - Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; [God] will rejoice over you with gladness, [God] will renew you in [God's] love; [God] will exult over you with loud singing - Zephaniah 3:17 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
God whose grace touches us in our unworthiness, you come near and speak the healing word. Reveal to us this day a sign of your glory, that we might listen to your voice and walk in your ways. Amen. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 2 days ago
God whose grace touches us in our unworthiness, you come near and speak the healing word. Reveal to us this day a sign of your glory, that we might listen to your voice and walk in your ways. Amen. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 3 days ago
Sojourners supports the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). NRCAT recently released five Youtube videos to counter the claims found in pop-culture that torture is acceptable. Check out this video of people of faith speaking to core faith values that underlie their anti-torture work,, which features Sojourners' Lisa Sharon Harper.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 3 days ago
"We can say 'Peace on Earth.' We can sing about it, preach about it or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be." - Betty Shabazz Betty Shabazz + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 3 days ago
You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. - Psalm 65:9-10 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 3 days ago
God of justice, we bring our prayers to you as acts of love for you and for our neighbors. You prepare a banquet for all peoples. We pray for the world, for peacemakers, and for all who serve in the name of Christ. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 4 days ago
"If you are not yet able to love yourself, you will not be able to love your enemy. But when you are able to love yourself, you can love anyone. When you do this, you will see that your so called enemy is not more or less than a human being who is suffering." - Thich Nhat Hanh Thich Nhat Hanh + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 4 days ago
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes. - Haggai 1:5-6 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 4 days ago
Lord, we pray that the Holy Spirit inspires us to become signs of the reign of God, anticipating God's heavenly glory through the love, compassion, kindness, truth, goodness, and joy we share with one another. May our relationships with friends, neighbors, and enemies be filled with those signs of the reign of God. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 5 days ago
 “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya Angelou Maya Angelou + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 5 days ago
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that “they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’ - Mark 4:10-12 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 25 weeks 5 days ago
May God's Spirit guide us to open our hearts wide to the grace of God surrounding us in the midst of our daily life. We pray for all who suffer separation from their loved ones as the carry out their work or studies, may God's Spirit comfort them and reassure them, empowering them to complete their duties. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 26 weeks 1 day ago
1. WATCH: Shrinking Women - Lily Myers There's a reason this bit of slam poetry has been making the rounds on Facebook over the past couple of days. It calls out the unsung truths of womanhood — truths, like the poet describing her mother as, "a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled, deciding how many bites is too many, how much space she deserves to occupy." Powerful words. 2. This Map Shows Where the World's 30 Million Slaves Live. There Are 60,000 in the U.S. Based on a report from the Walk Free Foundation, The Washington Post has mapped out the concentrations of people living in real slavery across the world, in situations like forced prostitution, child soldiers, and more. The highest rate is Mauritania, but the numbers that exist in the places we live should astound you.3. The Asian-American Awakening: That Moment When You Realize You're Not White A great read: "I believe that as Americans, we’re scared to accept difference, even in this day and age. We tell ourselves that we are more tolerant and accepting, looking to how far we have come, but in reality, we’re currently stuck in a rut." 4. My Harassers Photographer Hannah Price takes shots of the men who catcall her on the streets of Philadelphia. The results are stunning. Check out her images and an accompanying interview with The Morning News. 5. Stephen Colbert Roasts the Pope CNN Belief Blog brings us the highlights of Stephen Colbert's appearance at the Al Smith Dinner. "Being Catholic is like being in the Admiral's Club of Christianity: Membership has its privileges," Colbert joked. "But if even atheists can be redeemed, what's next, Lutherans?  It's madness."6. Of Wedding Vows and Sinners Prayers If you've ever been to an evangelical youth camp — or said the sinner's prayer on multiple occasions just to make sure it stuck — you should read this. "When we stand before the Lord someday I don’t think he’s going to ask us if we’ve said the sinner’s prayer. But he might ask us what he asked Peter that day by the seashore, the kind of thing people have been asking each other for centuries before taking the plunge of marriage: 'Do you love me?'"7. WATCH: Tattooed Jesus: Blasphemous or Powerful Witness? Billboards all over Lubbock, Texas display images of a tattooed Jesus — emblematic of his taking up our sins. The illustrations are causing mixed reactions. What do you think?8. Why I Don't Want a Progressive or Conservative Church Sound about right? "Church is supposed to be family. It is not supposed to be progressive, moderate, conservative, or whatever label you would like. Church is a word that literally means community, and communities are diverse." 9. How Feeling Each Other's Pain Changes Everything "May our expanded selves and pierced souls energize and direct our actions." 12 Years a Slave comes out in limited release today, and in her piece, Christena Cleveland builds on the theme of understanding and learning to love the other by first learning their stories. Read the whole series on the film and Sojourners' contributors' reactions HERE.10. Study: Almost Half of Public School Students Are Now Low-Income Take a look at these startling maps, courtesy of The Atlantic Cities. "[T]he worst thing about these numbers may be that they're a glimpse of the future. … students from low-income families tend to end up parents of low-income families. And on it goes." Sojourners Job Opening Sojourners is seeking a Director of Communications in its Washington, D.C. office. Check out the job description at the link above, and share with others!