United Church of Christ

Devotionals by Matthew Laney

Tomorrow many will celebrate independence from empire. Let’s also remember that America has since become an empire. How might Jesus call us to respond?


In the age of Covid-19, we find ourselves facing new, unfamiliar territory. We wonder if we – and our world – will be crushed like bugs underneath a giant pandemic.


Christianity has little to do with being a good person. The essence of the Christian faith is this: God loves us not because we are good but because God is good.


We can’t get through life without pain. From temporary toothaches to enduring heartbreaks, pain is part of the human condition.


Holy One, we pray to you from the belly of a pandemic. We don’t know how we will come out of this, but we pray we too will be converted.


It’s awkward to imagine the Holy One in underwear. But like tighty-whities, the Lenten journey is mostly a journey of subtraction, paring down, and clinging to nothing but God.


The cosmos is not separate from you or outside of you. You are it. You are God’s love. That’s what Jesus came to reveal, then and now.


Parents sometimes sacrifice children on the altars of our careers. Government sacrifices children on the altar of defense spending. God rejects child sacrifice—Abraham’s and ours.


Pointing out someone else’s hypocrisy is a great way to deflect attention from my own inconsistences. ‘Hey look! There’s a way bigger hypocrite over there!’


Revelation does not reveal the future. Revelation reveals us—exposes our privilege and proximity to power and, by God, offers a way out.