Weekly Wrap 12.11.15: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

This week's Wrap was guest curated by Sojourners contributor Adam Ericksen. Read along for his top stories and notes from the week!

There was a lot of negativity in the news this week, but mercy also filled the airwaves. In case you missed it, here’s a list of some merciful events from the week:

1. Pope Francis Opens the Door to ‘Year of Mercy’ in a Time of Fear

Sure, we have some differences, but we’re still crushing on the Pope. “To pass through the holy door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them.”

2. American Muslims Trump Hate with Love, Raise $173k for San Bernardino Victims in 6 Days

Speaking of mercy, Upworthy reveals that American Muslims have donated lots of cash to the families of the victims of the San Bernardino families to help with funeral costs and other needs. The organizer of the campaign stated, “We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action.”

3. The Battle for the Soul of Hanukkah

Did you know that we are in the midst of the eight nights of Hanukkah? Robert Cohen offers some Hanukkah lessons about the lights that shine in the darkness: “The rabbis preferred, not the guerrilla uprising, but the modest and homely image of the Hanukkah menorah with its small, fragile, short-burning candles to be our guiding spiritual metaphor.” L’Chaim!

4. Bullies, Terrorists, and Anxiety: A Sermon on Defiant Hope

Nadia Bolz-Weber preaches the Good News for our troubled times. “In the midst of such anxiety I am desperate for some hope. …In the midst of this anxiety, I want that promise from John that all shall see the salvation of God.” Yeah. Let’s live into that promise.

5. Muslim Anti-ISIS March Not Covered by Mainstream Media

Muslims recently took to the streets of London to protest ISIS and terrorism with signs reading, “Not in My Name,” “Every Chapter of the Qur’an Starts with Mercy,” and “Terrorism Has No Religion.” ...You may not have heard about it because the mainstream media didn’t cover it. Muslims are denouncing terrorism. Are we listening?

6. Advent Survival Guide

Wait! It’s not yet Christmas season?! It’s Advent? What’s Advent? Join the 12 Enough podcast host Rev. Jonathan Malone for a refresher on the season in this joyful and informative discussion.

7. Dear Non-Muslim Allies

Looking for practical ways to help the Muslim community? Sofia Ali-Khan provides simple and practical suggestions for non-Muslim allies, including this gem, “If you ride public transportation, sit next to the hijabi woman and say asalam ‘alaykum. ...Don’t worry about mispronouncing it; she won’t care. Just say ‘peace’ if you like. She’ll smile; smile back.”

8. Politics and Guns

Did you know that politics is actually a good word? Of course you do — you read Sojourners. [Thanks! —The Editors] Rob Bell hosts a five part series each day this week exploring the value and uses of politics with his trademark insight, stories, and humor.

9. John Stewart 'Trumps It Up' with Stephen Colbert for 9/11 First Responders

We may never forget 9/11, but sadly we’ve forgotten about the first responders. They continue to suffer health problems due to their heroic service, and America is failing them. John Stewart made the late night comedy rounds this week to bring this issue back into focus.

10. Trauma Loathes a Vacuum

We are a divided and fearful nation, writes Tripp Hudgins. “Again and again I find myself needing a way out of the trauma loop. Why not feed it with something other than anger and violence? Perhaps music and sweet rolls are the answer.” It may not be the whole answer, but the world definitely needs more music and sweet rolls. Mmm …. sweet rolls … thanks, Tripp.

Adam Ericksen

Adam Ericksen blogs at the Raven Foundation where he uses mimetic theory to provide social commentary on religion, politics, and pop culture. Like his Facebook page Adam Ericksen – Public Theologian and follow him on Twitter.

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