Posts By This Author

Power of Imagination

by Robert Roth 11-01-2006
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B for November.

Integral Faith

by Robert Roth 09-01-2006
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary for October.

Back to School

by Robert Roth 09-01-2006
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary for September.

A Secular or Sacred Witness?

by Robert Roth 08-01-2006

It is natural for people of faith to ally with secular organizations and approaches. We may even see the spirit of God in movements that bring life and hope.

The Ways of Shalom

by Robert Roth 07-01-2006

These five weeks of passages extol the depth, breadth, and living power of shalom—the biblical peace for humanity and all that lives.

Not Drunk, Just Not Sober

by Robert Roth 06-01-2006
At its best the church is an "innocence project" for ourselves and others.

Choosing to Love

by Robert Roth 05-01-2006
Reflection on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B

Love binds and builds, heals and hallows, redeems and restores. A broken world can expect all this and more, say our Johannine scriptures, when God’s power courses mystically through human events. John 10 finds the shepherd Jesus foretelling self-sacrificial love for the sheep. In John 15, Jesus calls the faithful to be willing to lay down their lives for their friends.

1 John 4 focuses on the intimate nature of God’s love for us, which evokes our love for others, while the next chapter equates the love of God with keeping the divine commandments. On the stage of Acts 1, 4, 8, and 10, the fruit-bearing and inclusive nature of divinely inspired love is dramatized by the great cast that is the early church.

This month’s passages offer both a head-on command to love and a traveler’s guide to the nature of love itself. John makes up only 10 percent of the New Testament, yet it provides a full third of the references to love. “Love” appears in John more often as a verb than a noun. Feelings won’t suffice. Actions must prevail.

The Holy One leads us beside still waters and restores our souls, whether we are Gentiles, eunuchs, or the homeless of Detroit. This power of life originates from God in every moment, forming living, healthy relationships.

God chose to enter history and love us. We must choose to love others and head into a world that doesn’t like those who love unconditionally.

Secrets Uncovered

by Robert Roth 04-01-2006

Peter's denials and Judas' betrayal foreshadow the reactionary horror to come.

Covenant Living

by Robert Roth 03-01-2006

Covenants order our lives, our faith communities, and, in the best of times, our nations. The promises and agreements God makes to us, and that we make to one another, are sometimes made binding by oaths or rituals. Sometimes God simply sends someone down from the mountain with a covenant fully formed and sealed.

Healing People, Healing Nations

by Robert Roth 02-01-2006
Is 'Get Rich or Die Tryin' just a current movie or is it also a national mantra?

Making a Movement

by Robert Roth 01-01-2006

In Kashmir, Niger, Honduras, and parts of every U.S. city, the situation is urgent. Thankfully, so is God’s persistent love.

The Beauty of Justice

by Robert Roth 12-01-2005
Peace, salvation, and the reign of God arrive with beauty and song.

A People's Identity

by Robert Roth 11-01-2005
Whenever you helped the needy - or ignored the poor - Jesus said, "you did it to me."

Restorative Justice

by Robert Roth 09-01-2005
Jesus sums up faithfulness as being other-oriented. It's about God. It's about the neighbor.

Is Peace Realistic?

by Robert Roth 09-01-2005
Neoconservatives and humanitarians can share a false trust in weaponry and a not-so-subtle imperialism.

A Change is Coming

by Robert Roth 08-01-2005
Among a people of faith, giftedness changes the world.

Watching for Seeds and Pearls

by Robert Roth 07-01-2005
Watching for Seeds and Pearls

When the faithful welcome the breaking of God’s word into relationships, politics, and economics, hope arrives. Adopted as God’s sons and daughters, people begin to make the reign of God their greatest loyalty.

Laughable, Historic Hope

by Robert Roth 06-01-2005
The most serious of events can seem,

The most serious of events can seem, well, funny at the time. Encountering God’s transformative actions directly, the first human response can be to break down into laughter.