Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 133

ID: the depiction of the eschatological feast in Priscilla's Catacombs. A grey box is on the right with the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - March 12, 2023 / Wedding Banquet / Matthew 22:1-14" with the logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary.

Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus spoke to his chosen family in parables, once more. He said, 2"The kin-dom of heaven could be described as a ruler who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent all of his slaves to call the guests who had been invited to attend. The guests would not come. 4Again, the ruler sent other slaves out, saying to them, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, everything is prepared: for dinner, the oxen and best quality of my cows have been prepared. Everything is ready! Come to the wedding banquet.' 5But the invited guests couldn't be bothered. One went back to his farm, another to his business, 6while another guest decided to be extra and seized up the ruler's slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The ruler was enraged. He sent his troops, killed the guests who had murdered his slaves and burned their city. 8The ruler said to his remaining slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those I originally invited were not worthy. 9Go then into the streets and invite everyone you can find to the wedding banquet.' 10The slaves went out into the streets and gathered everyone they could find, regardless of their character or worthiness, so that the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11"But when the ruler came in to see all the guests, he noticed that there was a man who was not wearing a wedding robe. 12The ruler said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?' And the man was silent. 13Then the king said to the guests, 'Bind this man's hands and feet so he cannot get free. Then throw him into the outer unknown, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14For many are called, but few are chosen."

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
Why is the ruler such an asshole in this?
How has this text been used in antisemitic and supersessionist ways?
What does the heavenly banquet look like here and now?

What are your queeries?

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 132

ID: a close up of a grape vine in a vineyard. To the right there is a dark blue box that reads "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - March 5, 2023 / Laborers in the Vineyard / Matthew 20:1-16" with the logo at the bottom.
Rev. Emily E. Ewing and Pace Warfield-May queery the Narrative Lectionary.

Matthew 20:1-16
“For the reign of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for their vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, they sent them into the vineyard.

3When they went out about nine o’clock, they saw others standing idle in the marketplace 4and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

5When the landowner went out again about noon and about three o’clock, they did the same. 6And about five o’clock they went out and found others standing around and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’

7They said to the landowner, ‘Because no one has hired us.’

The landowner said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to their manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
How would the world be different if no one were forced to work in order to survive?
Why didn't anyone hire the 5pm laborers? What impact did finally getting hired have on them?
What happens if God is the person at 5pm with no work?
Who is the real enemy?
What does friend mean? Why did the landowner only respond to one of the workers?
What if no one was last or first?

What are your queeries?


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 131

ID: a black and white illustrated depiction of the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. A gray box is on the right with the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - February 26, 2023 / Forgiveness / Matthew 18:15-35".
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary.

Matthew 18:15-35
Jesus said: "If your sibling causes you harm, speak to them alone about it. If you are listened to, you have rebuilt that relationship. 16But if you are not listened to, take one or two along with you so that every word you say can be supported by your witnesses. 17If that person refuses to listen to you and your witnesses, tell it to the church. If that person refuses to listen even to that church, that relationship is broken and you should sever ties. 18I tell you the truth: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you let go on earth will be let go in heaven. 19Again, I tell you this truth: if two of you agree about everything you ask, it will be done for you by my Parent in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am truly present among you."

Then Peter came and asked Jesus, "Teacher, if my sibling causes me harm, how often should I forgive them? Seven times?" 22Jesus responded, "Not seven times, but I'm telling you seventy-seven times. 23For this reason the kin-gdom of heaven may be compared to a slave master who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the settling of accounts, the slave who owed him the equivalent of two hundred thousand days of labor was brought to him, 25and, as he could not pay his master, the slave master ordered that slave to be sold together with his wife and children and all his possessions in order for the payment to be met. 26So the slave prostrated himself before the master and said, 'Please, I beg of you, have patience with me. I will pay you everything I owe.' 27And out of pity for him, the slave master released the debt that was owed. 28But that same slave ran into one of his fellow slaves who owed him the equivalent of 100 days of work. He seized his fellow slave by the throat and said, 'Pay me all that you owe me.' 29Then his fellow slave fell down and begged him, 'Please, have patience with me. I will pay you!' 30But the first slave refused. Indeed, he threw the other slave in a prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the rest of the slaves heard about what happened they were very upset. They reported it to the slave master. 32The slave master summoned the first slave back to him and said, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you that huge debt you owed me because I took pity on you when you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have shown your fellow slave mercy, the way I showed you mercy?' 34The slave master in anger handed him to be tortured until he could pay back the entire debt he owed. 35So it will be with my Parent in heaven if you do not truly forgive your siblings from your heart."

Queeries for the text
What is this text building on?
What was skipped? What is the accompanying reading?
Where is this headed?
How have passages like this been used to justify slavery?
When is it okay to not forgive?
What does true forgiveness look like?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 130

ID: a cross made in the negative space around ashes against a wooden background. A brown box is on the right with the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - February 22, 2023 / Who is the Greatest? / Matthew 18:1-9" with the logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary.

Matthew 18:1-9
Shortly after the transfiguration on the mountain top, the twelve chosen family members came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the G.O.A.T.–greatest of all time–in the kin-dom of heaven?" 2Jesus called out to a nearby child and brought the child among the chosen family 3 and said, "I tell you the truth: unless you transform and become like children, you will never enter the kin-dom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles themselves to be like this child is the G.O.A.T. in the kin-dom of heaven. 5Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name welcomes me.

6If any among you cause one of these little ones who believe in me to miss the mark, it would be better if you had a great stone chained to your neck and you were thrown into the depths of the sea to drown! 7Woe to the world for all the systems that create and cause sin! These things are always going to come, but woe to the one and the systems through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot or any other appendage causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter enter life without that appendage than for you to have all your appendages and be thrown into the never ending fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, rip it out and throw it away; it is better for you to be missing that eye than for you to have both eyes and be thrown into the hell of never ending fire."

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
What is disability theology?
How can we help protect children?

What are your queeries?

Friday, January 6, 2023

Queerying Productivity and Pausing

Life is busy and chaotic right now. In order to live into anti-capitalist values, we are pausing queerying for a time.  It is a labor of love and in this moment, personal life needs more time and attention, so that is what we are doing in this moment.  We will be back to queeries when things calm down or have shifted to provide more spoons and capabilities for queerying.  Blessings on you as you seek out the ways God's glory is manifest among the ordinary and extraordinary of your life.

For sermon prep, feel free to check out the Nerds At Church Podcast, which also follows the Revised Common Lectionary.

For more queer thinking and theologizing, feel free to check out the Horror Nerds At Church Podcast.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 119

ID: a medieval illuminated manuscript of Matthew 1, showing the "Tree of Jesse"--Jesus' family tree. A blue box on the right has the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - January 1, 2023 / The Genealogy of Jesus / Matthew 1:1-17" with the logo in the bottom right corner.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Matthew 1:1-17
1The family tree of Jesus the Anointed One, the descendent of David and Bathsheeba, and of Abraham and Sarah.

2Abraham and Sarah were the parents of Isaac, and Isaac and Rebecca the parents of Jacob, and Jacob and his wives the parents of Judah and his siblings, 3and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David.

And David and Bathsheba were the parents Solomon, 7and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his siblings, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is called the Anointed One.

17So all the generations from Abraham and Sarah to David and Bathsheeba are fourteen generations; and from David and Bathsheeba to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of the Anointed One, fourteen generations.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
What is skipped over?
Who are the women named in the genealogy? Why are so few named?
What is the importance of genealogy and ancestry?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Queerying Christmas Eve and Narrative Lectionaries 117 and 118

ID: a picture of a nativity scene with the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future crashed through the side of the wall. A yellow text box is on the right with the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - December 24-25, 2022 / Christmas Eve - The Birth of Jesus / Luke 2:1-14, [15-20] / Christmas Day - Shepherds Visit / Luke 2:8-20" with the logo in the bottom
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative and Revised Common Lectionary Gospel.

Luke 2:1-14[15–20]; Luke 2:8-20
1Emperor Augustus Caesar, known as Octavian (who reigned from 27 BCE-14 CE) made a decree throughout the entire Roman empire that everyone should be counted in a census. 2This was the first census that was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Quirinius was governor from 6-12CE). 3All people throughout Judea went to their towns to be registered for the census. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went there to be registered with his fiancee, Mary, who was pregnant. 6While in Bethlehem it came time for her to give birth to the child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in blankets and laid him in a feeding trough as there was no place for them in the upper dwelling of the family home.

8As Bethlehem was rural, it was surrounded by fields where shepherds would keep watch over their flock by night. 9An angel of the Becoming One suddenly stood before these shepherds, and the glory of the Becoming One shone brightly around them. The shepherds were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid. Look! I'm bringing you great news of abundant joy for you and for everyone! 11Born today in the city of David is the Anointed One, the Savior, a Master and Teacher for us all. 12This is the sign for you to know the child when you see him: you will find an infant wrapped in blankets lying in a feeding trough." 13And suddenly there was with the angel the entire multitude of the heavenly army, praising God/ess and singing,

14"Glory to God/ess throughout the cosmos,
and to all inhabitants on the planet Earth, peace for God/ess favors you!"

15When the angels had left them and returned to the ether, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Becoming One has made known to us." 16So they quickly went into the town and found Mary, Joseph, and the infant lying in the feeding trough. 17When they saw this, they told Mary, Joseph, and everyone they encountered what had been told to them about the infant. 18All who heard the news were amazed at what the shepherds had told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them deeply in her heart. 20The shepherds returned to the fields, glorifying, singing, and praising God/ess for all they had experienced, as it had been told to them.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
How are censuses used for harm? How are they used for good?
How is God's glory experienced throughout the cosmos?

What are your queeries?