God's Top 10: Blowing the Lid Off the Commandments

God's Top 10: Blowing the Lid Off the Commandments

The Ten Commandments meet the social issues of our time.

God With Skin On: Finding God's Love in Human Relationships

God With Skin On: Finding God's Love in Human Relationships

You may be the only Jesus some people ever meet.  

Blowing the Lid Off the God-Box: Opening Up to a Limitless Faith

Blowing the Lid Off the God-Box: Opening Up to a Limitless Faith

God is bigger than your box...don't close it!

I'd Like an Ugly, Violent Bible Story, Please

I'd Like an Ugly, Violent Bible Story, Please

The ugly, violent, and unjust stories can serve as an stepping stool to the throne of Grace when your own honest emotions and experience are reflected there.

On Rites and Symbols

On Rites and Symbols

A divorced, Scottish Protestant Clergywoman anoints an Irish Catholic Cardinal.

Lost in Ashes

Lost in Ashes

"Mama said there'd be days like this." Well, Mama learned that from God.

annerobertson2

I mourn for the French in these days of fear and grief after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.  I share their outrage at being attacked and killed for acts of self-expression, and I agree that two of the rights that are foundational to a democracy are freedom of speech and freedom of the press.  I support those principles and am exercising that right even now, as I write this blog.  Attacks on liberty of any kind are always something that deserve a full-throated response if society and the individuals within it are to grow and thrive.

annerobertson2
Tree mirrored in water showing all four seasons

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."
                                                              Ecclesiastes 3:1              

annerobertson2
Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
                                                                                                                  J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring.

annerobertson2

"Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you."                             Philippians 4:8-9

annerobertson2
Crucifixion painting by Anthony van Dyck circa 1622

As I wrote my new book, Introducing the New Testament, one thing became increasingly clear to me.   As I wrote about Jesus the man, Jesus the Jewish rabbi, and Jesus the Christ I realized that although we Christians revere Jesus as the Christ and learn to live our lives through the teaching of Jesus the rabbi, we sing songs like "Oh, How I Love Jesus" because of Jesus the man.  And that emotion is thoroughly rooted in Good Friday.

While Good Friday church attendance makes clear that most people would like to avoid the dark and horror of crucifixion and go straight to the Hallelujah's of Easter morning, we don't, in the end, love Jesus becaues he was resurrected.  We love Jesus because he died. 

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Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Rev. Anne Robertson (George Martell/Pilot New Media)

THE HISTORY

Fifty years ago, as Vatican II was sending the ecumenical spirit soaring, Cardinal Richard Cushing was invited to speak at the Sudbury United Methodist Church.  In that new spirit of Protestants and Catholics getting along, he accepted the invitation and gave the gathered congregation of Protestants and Catholics about 90 minutes of his best stuff.

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The following sermons comprise a series on The Apostles' Creed that I preached at St. John's United Methodist Church in Dover, NH in 2004.  You can read about the origins and history of the creed here.

Below is the text of the creed.  I have linked each line to the sermon about that line.  There are twelve sermons total. (Note that the first line contains two links.)

 

 

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Pink bow

I was one of a legion of children who was shepherded through third and fourth grade Sunday School by Maybritt Muller.  In my day she didn’t just teach, she ran the whole department for those grades, which comprised a number of classes. Her passing on July 13, 2013 has caused me to reflect, and I post this as a tribute to her. 

annerobertson2
annerobertson2

Like all other blessings, which are our portion in this world, civil freedom is liable to gross perversion and abuse.  It is the nature of man to be dissatisfied with present advantages and to seek for those which are ideal; or which are incompatible with social and moral obligation...Without the restrictions of law and government, this important boon would become the scourge of mankind; and the world would be converted into a theatre of violence and blood.                                              --Alden Bradford, 1804