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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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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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There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.           1 John 4:18

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TEXT: John 20:1-18

For those of us who practice Christian faith, the resurrection is the central, monumental event of history. Whether you’re the type of Christian that looks at it as historical reality or the type of Christian that sees it as a story of only spiritual truth, for all of us, the message of resurrection is the absolute center. Of course it was the central message for the disciples as well, and the story is recorded in all four of the Gospels. But to say that all four report it is not to say that all four tell it the same way.

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The Grinch
The Grinch

TRANSFORMATION IN WHOVILLE

TEXT: Luke 2:1-20
 

Over the past couple of weeks, the airwaves have been full of all the classic secular Christmas stories. I love all of them, and have seen them many times over. As I thought about them, I noticed that all of the Christmas classics emphasize the truth that Christmas is a time of transformation.
 

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What’s in your God-box? Each of us, says author Anne Robertson, builds our own way of understanding God—our "God-box"-- and fills it up with bits of scripture, wisdom, and our experiences of God at work in our lives. It’s a perfectly good way to puzzle out what God means to us. Encountering God through our human limitations, we learn something about the meaning of Incarnation.
 

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It is about how Jesus lives now...today...through you.  It’s about how to be the Body of Christ in the world.  For everyone you meet.  Everybody.  Even the nasty lady who sneers at you in church and the boss who only lives to ruin your day.  And it’s about how to let your partner and your mother-in-law and your stupid, no-good sister teach you about God’s love.  It’s even about your dog.  And your dead grandmother.
 

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