On Scripture: How Long Does Darkness Last?

Darkness illustration, imy /

Darkness illustration, imy /

For the sake of the world, we should all be feminists. And given what we know about the role of independent, empowered women in the community of disciples, for the sake world, we might be “Christians.”

Raymond Brown, the late, great scholar of John, writes: “In this Gospel, where light and darkness play such a role, darkness lasts until someone believes in the risen Jesus.”  

Therefore no darkness, no heartbreak, no grief, no injustice can long stand where the Risen Christ is proclaimed. Jesus Christ is the light of the world.  The light shines in the darknessa and the darkness does not — cannot — will not overcome the light. 

Freedom Tastes Like Hummus

Photo: Hummus plate, © Dan Peretz /

Photo: Hummus plate, © Dan Peretz /

Freedom is hummus. Perhaps not to you. But to me, hummus is what freedom tastes like. The relationships I have built with survivors of human trafficking have propelled me to redefine freedom, as it exists from their perspectives. 

Watching a survivor taste hummus for the first time brought so much joy to me. In a room of 25 survivors, no one had ever tasted it; many were hesitant to even dip a chip in it, let alone a carrot stick or pita bread. But the wide smile on the face of the first survivor who ‘dove in,' was all they needed to form a new love for this strange chickpea blend. And that one smile led the rest of the women into a new world of ‘healthful’ eating. It was a bold move early on by one of our volunteers — but she knows that part of her volunteer work is to continue to introduce the survivors to freedom and choices that have been unknown and unavailable to them. 

Gender Balancing Our World: What Can You Do?

Woman behind veil praying, © Blend Images /

Woman behind veil praying, © Blend Images /

Editor's note: This essay has been adapted from Gender Balancing our World.You can read the full article HERE.   

We had barely gobbled down our last bite of turkey and pumpkin pie before the familiar lines of carols began to ring in our ears and warm our souls. Joy to the world!  Peace on earth!  Good will to all!  Let heaven and nature sing! I don't know about you, but as I string up lights, pull out the advent wreath and boxes and boxes of ornaments and tangled lights, the lofty words of our beloved carols have a way of triggering a paradoxical mix of joy, generosity, and enlarged spiritual vision, yet also a fairly predictable malcontendedness about the state of things. 

How strange it is that Christmas carols can make me want both to buy an iPhone 5 and a Mac Airbook and in the same moment want to save the world? I admit that I keep Santa’s Amazon elves very busy this time of year, yet in quiet moments the contradictions between the high ideals of the season and the harshness of our egregiously unjust world nag at my soul. 

Treaty Against Trafficking

The fact that the February 2012 issue contained three articles about human trafficking (“Humankind’s Most Savage Cruelty,” by Stewart Burns; “Here?” by Abayea Pelt; “Works of Mercy” by Sylvia Yu) is encouraging. However, none of them mentioned the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Nothing will completely stop the evil of trafficking, since it is so profitable, but the Convention has potential for reducing it more than any other device or activity. The Convention was developed in 1989, and 194 U.N. countries have ratified it.