News and Reflections
A zombie fire is a wildfire that appears to go out but really just moves underground. There it smolders and burns unseen until the conditions on the top are ripe for the fire to erupt again in its full, destructive measure. There are zombie fires erupting now in the Arctic as the planet warms. They are also erupting now in our cities, as justice is, yet again, denied.
The Rev. Anne Robertson writes, “The focus of this study series is on issues of justice in the public square. The Bible is the lens through which we are examining those issues, but, just as with reading glasses, the biblical lens will often fade into the periphery as it does its job of helping us see what is on the page.” She further asserts, “The Ten Commandments, ultimately, are about the intersection of individual behavior and public life— exactly where we find ourselves when confronted with the controversial issues of our day.”
“There are many reasons to turn to the Ten Commandments in the times we are in, but Anne Robertson gives us here a useful way to engage our ancient texts in a lively and creative way. Local churches and faith communities will find this a compelling way to discuss current issues in the context of Scripture and how we can improve civil dialogue. Her thoughts on guiding discussions are a perfect resource for any group leader.”
Anne Robertson has written an astonishing exposition of the second of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not make graven images.” Her study is deeply grounded in scripture. But her work is to mobilize her expansive imagination in order to show the demanding contemporaneity of this innocent-looking mandate from Moses. Amid her work she offers a trenchant critique of our idolatry of nationalism with an eye on our “worship of the flag,” and our idolatry of guns with a knowing riff on the NRA.
I am broken this morning. Just yesterday over 600 workers in meat plants in Mississippi were arrested at work by ICE. It was the first day of school. Hundreds of children came home to no one, crying, wandering parking lots, and if they were lucky a friendly neighbor took them to a shelter set up in a gym. Today those children will join the thousands of children we are traumatizing daily in the hopes that our cruelty will make the U.S.
To the person unfamiliar with the Bible, Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series provides an introduction that is utterly unintimidating; to regular readers it is a companionable and challenging conversation partner. Anne Robertson not only invites people into the biblical texts, she welcomes them - with good humor, an obvious reverence for the texts, and a completely trustworthy voice.