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.

Lost in Ashes

Lost in Ashes

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

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.  

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Christianity isn't about abstract hope; it is about embodied hope. 

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!

On Rites and Symbols

On Rites and Symbols

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

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It keeps coming and coming and coming. We've barely dug out from one storm and the next one hits, sending us back out with shovels, snowblowers, plows or just our own mitten-bedecked hands to try to make a way simply to get out of our homes.  

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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.

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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              

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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.

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"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

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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. 

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