Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Queerying 16th after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

 What have you learned about trusting in God through trials and tribulations?

In whom as God shown up when you have faced turbulence?

What treasures do we store up when we set our hopes on God?

How does God invite us to join in flipping the script?

-----

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a proposed design for "small subsurface markers" to be buried randomly in great numbers across the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The long-term nuclear waste warning message reads: DANGER: Poisonous Radioactive Waste Here Do not dig or drill.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Becoming One in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the prison compound attached to the palace of the king of Judah.For King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him, saying, “How dare you prophesy."

[...]

Jeremiah said: The word of the Becoming One came to me:
Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you and say, “Buy my land in Anathoth, for you are next in succession to redeem it by purchase.”

And just as the Becoming One said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the prison compound and said to me, “Please buy my land in Anathoth, in the territory of Benjamin; for the right of succession is yours, and you have the duty of redemption. Buy it.”

Then I knew that it was indeed the word of the Becoming One. So I bought the land in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I wrote a deed, sealed it, and had it witnessed; and I weighed out the silver on a balance. I took the deed of purchase, the sealed text and the open one according to rule and law, and gave the deed to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah in the presence of my kindred Hanamel, of the witnesses who were named in the deed, and all the Judeans who were sitting in the prison compound.

In their presence I charged Baruch as follows:
Thus said the The Becoming One, ruler of angel armies, the God of Israel: “Take these documents, this deed of purchase, the sealed text and the open one, and put them into an earthen jar, so that they may last a long time.” For thus said the Becoming One, Ruler of angel armies, the God of Israel: “Houses, fields, and vineyards shall again be purchased in this land.”

Queeries for the text:
Who is stuck in the prison compound?
What is missing from this passage?
How do we value land?
How do we redeem?
What does it mean to be a kindred?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo shows the Grand Canyon with one edge near the foreground and the other very distant.  Photo is by Michelle Oude Maatman.
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
Jesus said:
19“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.

23In Hades, where the no-longer-rich, dead man was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24He called out, ‘Daddy Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

25But Abraham said, ‘Little one, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26Besides all this, between you and us a grand canyon has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’

27He said, ‘Then, Daddy, I beg you to send him to my Papa’s house— 28for I have five brothers—that he may serve me and warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

29Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’

30He said, ‘No, Daddy Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

31Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip? How can it be good to skip?
Why is purple so special?
Who receives scraps from the table?
How do dogs comfort and heal?
How does the rich man's contempt continue after death?
How does God flip the script?
Where are grand canyons today?
What would startle you into repentance?

What are your queeries?






Queerying Narrative 103

ID: taupe cloth is bunched up. On the right is a blue box that has the following text: "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1-September 25 2022/Joseph in Prison/Genesis 39:1-23" with the diakonia.faith logo in the bottom
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Genesis 39:1-23
1After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he was taken to Egypt where Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of the Pharaoh and the captain of the guard bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 2The Becoming One was present with Joseph, leading Joseph to become successful in the house of his Egyptian master. 3His master saw that the Becoming One was alongside Joseph and that the Becoming One caused all that Joseph did to prosper in his hands. 4So Joseph became Potiphar's favorite and attended to him; Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of the house and put him in charge of all his finances and possessions. 5The Becoming One made all that Joseph touched prosper, leading Potiphar to prosper as well, so that Joseph would be taken care of. 6So Potiphar left all of his possessions in Joseph’s care, and with Joseph in charge of the household, Potiphar was able to rely on Joseph's labor for all things so that all Potiphar had to worry about was what to eat.

Now Joseph was very, stunningly attractive. 7 And after a time his master’s wife saw Joseph and said, "Sleep with me." 8 But Joseph refused and said to his master’s wife, "Look, with me here, my master Potiphar has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has under my control. 9 As a result, he sees me almost as his equal and he hasn't kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this awful deed and cause harm against God?" 10And although she asked Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her let alone sleep with her. 11One day, however, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and he was alone in the house, 12she caught hold of his clothes saying, "Sleep with me!" In his hurry to leave, she was able to keep hold of his clothes as he ran away, leaving them with her. 13 When she realized his clothes had torn off and were in her hand as he ran outside, 14she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to my room to rape me, and I cried out with a loud voice, 15and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out for help, he left his clothes beside me and fled outside." 16Then she kept his clothes by her until his master, Potiphar, came home, 17and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew slave, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to rape me, 18 but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out for help, he left his clothes beside me and fled outside."

19When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, "This is the way your slave treated me," he became enraged. 20And Joseph’s master took him and put him in the prison where the Pharaoh's prisoners were confined; Joseph remained there in prison. 21But the Becoming One remained faithful to Joseph and showed him steadfast love, which in turn gave Joseph favor with the chief jailer. 22The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, Joseph was the one who did it. 23The chief jailer gave Joseph free reign over the prison because the Becoming One was with Joseph, and whatever Joseph did, the Becoming One made it prosper.

Queeries for the text:
What is this passage building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this headed?
Does God have favorites?
In what ways is Joseph's story queer?
How do prejudice, power, and racism play into this narrative?
Who has agency in this passage?
Why does God reward Joseph's masters?

What are your queeries?




Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Queerying 15th after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

For what sorrows and wounds are you calling out to God to soothe?

How will humans need redemption for blessings being squandered now?

How do you pray for people who abuse their power?

How does prioritizing financial security prevent faithful living?

-----

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a person of color in sepia tones leaning over a table as if lamenting.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
When in grief I would seek comfort,
My heart is sick within me.
“Is the Becoming One in Zion?
Is not her Sovereign within her?
Why then did they anger Me with their images,
with alien futilities?”

Hark! The outcry of my poor people
from the land far and wide:
“Harvest is past,
summer is gone,
but we have not been saved.”
Because my people are shattered I am shattered;
I am dejected, seized by desolation.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Can no physician be found?
Why has healing not yet
come to my poor people?
Oh, that my head were water,
My eyes a fount of tears!
Then would I weep day and night
for the slain of my poor people.

Oh, to be in the desert,
at an encampment for wayfarers!
Oh, to leave my people,
to go away from them—
for they are all adulterers,
a band of rogues.

Queeries for the text:
Who is in mourning?
What is the outcry of "my poor people"?
What is the Balm in Gilead?
What is the physician doing?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Luke 16:1-13
Then Jesus said to his chosen family, “There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this steward was wasting his possessions. 2So the rich man summoned them and said to them, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your stewardship, because you cannot be my steward any longer.’

3Then the steward said to themself, ‘What will I do, now that my Proprietor is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to do unskilled labor, and I am ashamed to ask for what I need. 4I have decided what to do so that, when I am fired as steward, people may welcome me into their homes.’

5So, summoning their Proprietor’s debtors one by one, they asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my Proprietor?’

6The first answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’

They said to that one, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, remove the interest, and make it fifty.’

7Then they asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’

The other replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’

They said to that one, ‘Take your bill, remove the interest, and make it eighty.’

8And the Proprietor commended the corrupt steward because they had acted wisely; for the children of this age are more wise in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of corrupt securities so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the everlasting homes.

10“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is corrupt in a very little is corrupt also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful with the corrupt securities, who will entrust to you what is genuine? 12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13No domestic servant can serve two Proprietors; for they will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and securities.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
When else was there a rich man?
Who stewards for the rich?
Who brought the charges against the steward?
Who is strong enough for unskilled labor?
Who changes debt?
What has corrupt securities?
How do you make friends?
What is another's?
What is your own?

What are your queeries?



 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Queerying Narrative 102

ID: all the countries, territories, and regions once or presently colonized by the British Empire in pink, wit the countries, regions, and territories that were not in grey. On the right a banner says "Narrative Lectionary: Year 1-September 18 2022/ Call of Abraham/Genesis 12:1-9 with the diakonia.faith logo in the bottom
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Genesis 12:1-9
Now the Becoming One said to Abram, “Go from your country and your people and your parent's house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make a great nation out of your descendants, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

4So Abram went up and left as the Becoming One told him to, and his nephew Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot and all the possessions that they had gathered and the slaves they had stolen from their families in Haran, and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were native to the land and called it their home. 7Then the Becoming One appeared to Abram and said, “Let's make this destiny manifest–I'll just rob this land from their people and give it to your offspring.” Abram built there an altar to the Becoming One, who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel and made camp, between Bethel and Ai, and there he built an altar to the Becoming One, calling out Xyrs name. 9And Abram continued on his journey slowly toward the Negeb.

Queeries for the text:
What is this passage building on?
What is the accompanying reading?
Where is this headed?
Why would God give Abram an already occupied land?
Who else has used the image of God gifting occupied land for their own benefit?
What does it mean to be heirs of a stolen land?

What are your queeries?




Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Queerying 14th after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

What do you pray for the wind of God to blow through and sweep away?

What are we running from when we engage in sin?

How does God's mercy released you from regrets?

How is God protecting you and searching for you, even in your lostness, waiting for you to come home?

-----

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a cartoon drawing of earth with fire at the north pole and a block of ice at the south pole.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
At that time, it shall be said concerning this people and Jerusalem:
The conduct of My poor people is like searing wind
from the bare heights of the desert—
it will not serve to winnow or to fan.
A full blast from them comes against Me:
now I in turn will bring charges against them.

[...]

For My people are willfully ignorant,
they give Me no heed;
they are foolish children,
they are not intelligent.
They are clever at doing wrong,
but unable to do right.
I look at the earth,
it is unformed and void;
at the skies,
and their light is gone.
I look at the mountains,
they are quaking;
and all the hills are rocking.
I look: no human is left,
and all the birds of the sky have fled.
I look: the farm land is desert,
and all its towns are in ruin—
because of the Becoming One,
because of Xyr blazing anger.

For thus said the Becoming One:
the whole land shall be desolate,
but I will not make an end of it.
For this the earth mourns,
and skies are dark above—
because I have spoken, I have planned,
and I will not relent or turn back from it.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this pericope?
What slurs can we eradicate from our language?
When else was the Earth unformed and void?
Who suffers when mountains quake?
What might the end of humanity look like?
Why won't the Becoming One relent or turn Xyr back from desolation?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo by Biegun Wschodni shows a person with dark skin leaning on a cane with sheep grazing in front of them, a dog next to them, and hills of grass and trees in the background.
Gospel: Luke 15:1-10
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. 2And the religious leaders were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3So Jesus told them this parable: 4“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until you find it? 5When you have found it, you lay it on your shoulders and rejoice. 6And when you come home, you call together your friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, a daily wage each, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9When she has found it, she calls together her gal pals, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What did tax collectors do?
Who are "sinners"?
Who grumbles today?
What would shepherds do?
How do we rejoice with others?
Which sheep repented? Which coin?
What prompts you to clean the house?
Who repents?

What are your queeries?



 


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Queerying Narrative 101

ID: image shows an illuminated manuscript of Noah and the ark. It appears that God is ushering the animals in while Jesus watches over the scene. In a cut out to the right, text reads "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1-September 11, 2022/Flood and Promise/Genesis 6:5-22; 8:6-12; 9:8-17" with the Diakonia.Faith logo at the bottom
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Genesis 6:5-22; 8:6-12; 9:8-17
6:5The Becoming One saw that evil had infected humankind's hearts, ever increasing as it forced wickedness against other humans and the earth. 6And the Becoming One became remorseful that Xe had created humanity on the earth, and Xe grieved this in Xyrs heart. 7So the Becoming One said, "I will blot out from the earth the humans I have created–people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air–for I am bitterly hurt that I made them." 8But Noah found favor in the sight of the Becoming One.

9These are the offspring of Noah. Noah was righteous, blameless among his generation of wicked humans; Noah walked with God. 10And Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11Now the earth was polluted in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God saw that the earth was corrupt, for all humankind had polluted its ways upon the earth. 13And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end to all living things, for the earth is filled with violence and pollution because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16Make a roof for the ark and finish it to a cubit above, and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17For my part, I am going to bring a great flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under the sky all living things in which is my breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19And of every living thing, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be a reproducing pair. 20Of the bird according to their kinds and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind shall come in with you, to keep them alive. 21Also take with you every kind of food that is eaten, and store it up, and it shall serve as food for you and for them." 22Noah did all this; he did all that God commanded him.

[…]

8:6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out a raven, and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then Noah sent out the dove to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground, 9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to Noah to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. 10Noah waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark, 11and the dove came back to him in the evening and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove, and it did not return to him anymore.

[…]

9:8Then God said to Noah and to his family with him, 9"As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10not just with the humans, but with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall I destroy all living things by waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the entire earth." 12God continued, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature, for all generations: 13I have set my weapon, a bow, down upon the clouds over the earth and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and all the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and all living creatures, and the waters shall never become a great flood that destroys all life. 16When my weapon, the bow, is laid to rest in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all kinds that is on the earth." 17God finished speaking to Noah, saying, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all living things upon the earth."

Queeries for the text:
What's missing?
What is the accompanying reading?
Where is this headed?
Why didn't Noah argue back against God?
What ways do floods harm the environment and humans?
How are humans wicked against the earth today?
What else does a rainbow symbolize?

What are your queeries?
ID: image shows an illuminated manuscript of Noah and the ark. It appears that God is ushering the animals in while Jesus watches over the scene.
Noah’s Ark
Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, Kingdom of Jerusalem (Acre) before 1291
British Library, Additional 15268, fol. 7v

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Queerying 13th after Pentecost C

Our newest segment: Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

What does this week's lectionary tell us about what Jesus will do for our lives?

What changes, from God and from my own self, do I need to open myself up to?

What fearful and wonderful things about who you are has God been waiting, on the edge of Xyr seat with joy, for you to grow into?

What in our past can we now seek to make amends for? To whom can we reach out for reparation and reconciliation?

What things must we let go of in order to build a better life that honors ourselves, our community, and our God?

-----

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: Full disk view of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 18:1-11
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Becoming One:
“Go down to the house of a potter, and there I will impart My words to you.”
So I went down to the house of a potter, and found her working at the wheel.
And if the vessel she was making was spoiled, as happens to clay in the potter’s
hands, she would make it into another vessel, such as the potter saw fit to make.

Then the word of the Becoming One came to me:
O House of Israel, can I not deal with you like this potter?—says the Becoming One. Just like clay in the hands of the potter, so are you in My hands, O House of Israel!
At one moment I may decree that a nation or a state shall be uprooted and pulled down and destroyed; but if that nation against which I made the decree turns back from its wickedness, I change My mind concerning the punishment I planned to bring on it.
At another moment I may decree that a nation or a state shall be built and planted;
but if it does what is displeasing to Me and does not obey Me, then I change My mind concerning the good I planned to bestow upon it.

And now, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus said the Becoming One:
I am devising disaster for you and laying plans against you. Turn back, each of you,
from your wicked ways, and mend your ways and your actions!

Queeries for the text:
What do potters make today?
How can we make something new out of mistakes?
How have people mistreated the earth?
What hope is there to avoid disaster?

-----

While many of these are the same as were accidentally queeried last week, there are a few different queeries and a different translation to explore.

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo of the unfinished Duomo di Siena taken by tommao wang on Unsplash
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
25Now large crowds were traveling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them, 26“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether you have enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when you have laid a foundation and are not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule you, 30saying, ‘This one began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what ruler, going out to wage war against another ruler, will not sit down first and consider whether they are able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against them with twenty thousand? 32If they cannot, then, while the other is still far away, they send a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33So therefore, none of you can become my chosen family if you do not give up all your possessions.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
Who hates family?
How are nonbinary people uniquely lovable?
Who hates life?
How do humans hate life?
How are building cost estimates inaccurate?
Who actually builds towers?
How is peace negotiated?
What harm does war cause?

What are your queeries?