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 diakonia.faith 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 Diakonia.faith 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?




Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Queerying Advent 4A and Narrative Lectionary 116

ID: a hand drawn meme of a biblically accurate angel facing a person.  The gray cutout reads: Narrative Lectionary/Year 1 - December 18 2022/Jesus as Immanuel/Matthew 1:18-25 with the diakonia.faith logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative and Revised Common Lectionary Gospel.

Matthew 1:18-25
18Now the birth of Jesus, the Anointed One, took place in this way: when Jesus' mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, she was found to be with child (from the Holy Spirit). This was before they lived together or had sexual relations. 19Mary's husband, Joseph, was self-righteous and unwilling to expose himself or Mary to public disgrace, so he decided to break off the engagement quietly. 20But just as he had decided to do this on his own, an angel of the Becoming One appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, scion to David, do not be afraid. Take Mary as your wife, for the fetus within her was conceived through the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you both are to name him Jesus, from the Hebrew Yehoshua for God saves, for he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Becoming One through the prophet Isaiah:

"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel (from the Hebrew for God is with us)."

24When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Becoming One had commanded him to do: he married Mary, 25but he did not have sex with her until she gave birth to the promised son, and they named him Jesus.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying Narrative Lectionary text?
Where is this headed?
How is Matthew using or misusing the Isaiah quote?
What is the importance of names?
What do dreams mean for us?
What was wrong with Joseph's 'righteous' plan?
How do you experience the promise that God is with us?

What are your queeries?

ID:  a hand drawn meme of a biblically accurate angel saying "Be not afraid." with a man responding "Sir, this is the scariest moment of my life."

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Queerying Advent 3A

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a blossoming desert.
Tanakh: Isaiah 35:1-10
The dry desert shall be glad,
The wilderness shall rejoice
And shall blossom like a rose.
It shall blossom abundantly,
It shall also exult and shout.
It shall receive the glory of Lebanon,
The splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall behold the glory of the Becoming One,
The splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are slack;
Make firm the tottering knees!
Say to the anxious of heart,
“Be strong, fear not;
Behold your God!
Requital is coming,
The recompense of God—
She Herself is coming to give you triumph.”
Then the eyes of the one who refuses to see shall be opened,
And the ears that refuse to hear shall be unstopped.
Then those who cannot walk shall leap like a deer,
And the one who cannot talk shall shout aloud;
For waters shall burst forth in the desert,
Streams in the wilderness.
Torrid earth shall become a pool;
Parched land, fountains of water;
The home of jackals, a pasture;
The abode of ostriches, reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall appear there,
Which shall be called the Sacred Way.
No one unclean shall pass along it,
But it shall be for them.
No traveler, not even the directionally challenged, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
No ferocious beast shall set foot on it—
These shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk it;
And the ransomed of the Becoming One shall return,
And come with shouting to Zion,
Crowned with joy everlasting.
They shall attain joy and gladness,
While sorrow and sighing flee.

Queeries for the text:
What is the opposite of dry?
How do we make firm tottering knees?
Where is the Sacred Way?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash shows the profile angle of this male seahorse, revealing his big belly, full of baby seahorses.
Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11
2When John heard during his incarceration what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his chosen family 3and said to Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

4Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you witness: 5the blind receive guidance, places are made accessible for the lame who use assistive devices, healthcare is free as the lepers are cleansed, the Deaf are respected in language and culture, the dead are raised, and the poor have money, support, and opportunity brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John:
“What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?
A reed shaken by the wind?
8What then did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in soft robes?
Look, those who wear soft robes are in mansions and penthouses.
9What then did you go out to see?
A prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the reign of heaven is greater than he.

Queeries for the text:
Why was John incarcerated?
Who are you waiting for?
How has Jesus' call to community and accessibility been used for harm?
At whom do you take offense?
Who wears soft robes today?
Who is soft?
How can a person be more than a prophet?
Where is it written?
Who is greater? Who desires greatness?

What are your queeries?



Queerying Narrative Lectionary 115

ID: a grey brick lighthouse with a copper roof against an overcast sky and bluegreen ocean. A giant wave crashes around the lighthouse, looking almost as if it will engulf the entire structure. A green bar is on the right side of the image that reads: "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1-December 11 2022/A Light to the Nations/Isaiah 42:1-9" with the diakonia.faith logo in the bottom right corner.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Isaiah 42:1-9
1Yo, look! It's my servant that I hand picked!
My chosen servant, in whom I find deep joy;
I have put my spirit upon her;
She will inspire and bring justice to all nations.

2She will not cry out or shout
Or try to call attention to herself in the streets!
3She will not even break a twig that's barely hanging on to the branch,
and she will not put out even the faintest flame on the wick:
She will faithfully bring forth justice.
4But neither will she grow faint or be crushed
until she has established justice in all corners of the earth;
and the coastal areas will wait upon her teaching.
5Thus says God/ess, the Becoming One,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6I am the Becoming One, I have called you in righteousness;
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as an unfailing, everlasting promise to the people,
a lighthouse for all nations to sail and navigate safely by,
7to bring wholeness and healing to those broken or in need,
to set the prisoners free, just and unjustly imprisoned alike,
for all prisons are unholy and broken.
8I am the Becoming One, that is my name;
my glory is mine alone,
no idols deserve the praise belonging to me.
9See, the old ways have died,
"a new, more glorious dawn awaits,"
before the sun rises on this dawn,
I am telling you of the wonderful things to come.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this headed?
What does a "new, more glorious dawn" entail?
Who is the suffering servant?
What needs to die in order to give birth to new life?

What are your queeries?




Thursday, December 1, 2022

Queerying Advent 2A

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a glass of water is pictured with the earth floating inside it and the Atlantic Ocean facing out..
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
In those days John the Baptizer appeared in the wild sparseness of Judea, proclaiming, 2“Turn around, for the reign of heaven has come near.” 3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when saying, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Becoming One, make Her paths queerly accessible.’” 4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to John, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins and separation. 7But when John saw many religious leaders of all political perspectives coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit showing you're changing your mind. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. This one will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12The winnowing fork is in hand, and this one will clear the threshing floor and will gather the wheat into the granary; but the chaff will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Queeries for the text:
Who else appears in the wild sparseness?
What nourishment do locusts and wild honey provide?
What sins do we have to confess at rivers and waterways?
Who else is cussed at?
When else are stones anthropomorphized?
What does fire do?
Is it better to be eaten or burned?

What are your queeries?