Saturday, March 31, 2018

Queerying Easter Music

The season of Easter is upon us and I've cultivated another playlist!

As with past playlists, the music comes from a variety of styles, queerying the boundaries that we have set up between what is deemed "religious," "secular," and even "profane."  This is definitely a labor of love for me as I am not particularly musically oriented and I am very grateful to friends and colleagues who have suggested songs for this list.

The themes of Easter that I focused on for this playlist are: death, evil, and sin not having the final word; love and new life; hope; embodiment; surprising grace; stubborn resilience, even in the presence of death and destruction; God's reign on earth; the queerness and rainbow of resurrection; butterflies; arrival, emptiness, and empty tombs.  Some of these themes are more prevalent than others, but all of them were in my heart when cultivating.

While the playlist is quite intentional, the order isn't.  So, unlike Holy Week, but similar to Lent, it would probably be better if set to shuffle.  As always, it is an ongoing work in progress, so let me know if you have any suggestions to add to the list or questions about what is on the list or why!

In case you missed the other links, check out my Easter playlist here:

Monday, March 26, 2018

easter sunday year b - mark

Mark 16:1-8
When the sabbath was over,
     Mary Magdalene,
     and Mary the mother of James,
     and Salome bought spices,
          so that they might go and anoint Jesus’ body.
2And very early on the first day of the week,
     when the sun had risen,
          they went to the tomb.
     3They had been saying to one another,
          “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”
     4When they looked up,
          they saw that the stone,
               which was very large,
                    had already been rolled back.
     5As they entered the tomb,
          they saw a youth,
               dressed in a white robe,
               sitting on the right side;
                    and they were alarmed.
6But the youth said to them,
     “Do not be alarmed;
          you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,
               who was crucified.
     Jesus has been raised and is not here.
          Look, there is the place they laid the body.
          7But go, tell the disciples and Peter
               that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee;
                    there you will see them, just as Jesus told you.”
8So they went out and fled from the tomb,
     for terror and amazement had seized them;
          and they said nothing to anyone,
               for they were afraid.

Queeries for the text:
Why is it always up to the women to show up?  
Where are the men? (cn: gender binary in article)
Have the youth always been leading and adults are just not paying attention?
Why is Jesus going ahead to Galilee?
Why isn't Peter included as a disciple?
How can followers of Christ spend so much time with Jesus and just keep getting worse at discipleship?
What other Good News do we flee from?

What are your queeries?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Queerying Holy Week Music

Holy Week is here!

As with past playlists, I've made a playlist for Holy Week.  This playlist has a mix of music that is familiar to me from going up in the church as well as music I've found throughout my life and music that friends have suggested.  I've also split the days into their own playlists, which are not in any particular order.  These playlists will be linked below as each day is mentioned.

Unlike my Lent playlist, this playlist is intentionally ordered.  It begins with Palm Sunday, preparations and a procession of Hosannas into what could be the bad theology of the crowd who thinks Jesus will be the military messiah instead of the suffering servant or street theater critiquing and resisting Pilate's military parade into Jerusalem.

As Palm Sunday winds down, tensions rise in Jerusalem leading into Maundy Thursday, the disciples' reluctant footwashing at the hands of their Lord, the Last Supper and institution of communion, and Jesus' commandment to love.  All of this tinged with both tension and sorrow, though the disciples do not always understand it.

After supper, Jesus heads with his followers into the dark and Gethsemane where he prays (and they fall asleep) until the soldiers arrive with Judas.  We dive deep into Good Friday as Jesus is taken into custody, the disciples scatter.  During Jesus' sham of a trial, Pilate, Herod, and the religious authorities of the time send Jesus back and forth.  Pilate doesn't want to kill Jesus, but also doesn't want a riot on his hands.  Herod wants magic tricks.  The religious authorities are threatened (as religious authorities throughout time continue to be) by this one who resists oppression and collusion with the Empire.  During this "trial," Peter denies Jesus and finally Jesus is handed over to be crucified.

Jesus journeys to the cross, literally carrying the instrument that will torture and kill him.  As he is crucified, fulfilling humanity's demands for death in response to love, the women bear witness to his suffering and his humanity and an unlikely soldier of the Empire proclaims Jesus as God's child.  Jesus connects his loved ones to each other and joins with the oppressed, marginalized, murdered, and suffering throughout history.

Once Jesus is in the tomb, we are left with our grief, our sorrow, our uncertainty through Holy Saturday.  And then in the early morning, as the sun is coming up, we gather with the women at the tomb to find that Jesus is risen!  This playlist gives you just a glimpse of the resurrection at the end.  There will be another playlist for Easter, so check back next week!

My playlists are never set in stone.  Like a good Lutheran, the canon on my seasonal playlists remains open.  Feel free to suggest additional songs or ask me why I picked certain ones (it may just be the title...or the actual lyrics.  Rarely, though occasionally, will the answer be the tune...I just don't know how to music like that).  Check out the playlist here:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

palm sunday year b - mark

Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem,
     at Bethphage and Bethany,
          near the Mount of Olives,
     Jesus sent two of his disciples 2and said to them,
          “Go into the village ahead of you,
          and immediately as you enter it,
               you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden;
                    untie it and bring it.
               3If anyone says to you,
                    ‘Why are you doing this?’
                         just say this, 
                              ‘The Lord needs it 
                              and will send it back here immediately.’”
4They went away and found a colt tied near a door,
     outside in the street.
          As they were untying it,
               5some of the bystanders said to them,
                    “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
          6The disciples told them what Jesus had said;
               and they allowed them to take it.

7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it;
     and he sat on it.
          8Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
          and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.
               9Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
                         Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
                         10Blessed is the coming dominion of our ancestor David!
                    Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple;
     and when he had looked around at everything,
          as it was already late,
               he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Queeries for the text:
What is with Mark and all the "immediately"s?
Who do the bystanders think "the Lord" is?
Is this bad theology by the people who want a military messiah?
Is this the first pride parade?
Why does Jesus even bother entering the Temple?
Is Jesus taking the saying, "it's about the journey, not the destination" too literally?
Was there a procession on the way out also?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

lent 5 year b - john

John 12:20-33
20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
     21They came to Philip,
          who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
          and said to him,
               “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22Philip went and told Andrew;
     then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
          23Jesus answered them,
               “The hour has come for the Human One to be glorified.
                    24Very truly, I tell you,
                         unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
                              it remains just a single grain;
                         but if it dies,
                              it bears much fruit.
                    25Those who love their life lose it,
                         and those who hate their life in this world 
                              will keep it for eternal life.
                    26Whoever serves me must follow me,
                         and where I am,
                              there will my servant be also.
                    Whoever serves me,
                         the Father will honor.

27“Now my soul is troubled.
     And what should I say—
          ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
               No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
          28Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven,
     “I have glorified it,
          and I will glorify it again.”
29The crowd standing there heard it
     and said that it was thunder.
Others said,
     “An angel has spoken to him.”
30Jesus answered,
     “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
          31Now is the judgment of this world;
          now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
               32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
                    will draw all people to myself.”
33Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.  
Queerying the text:
What festival is it this time?
Are the disciples playing the first game of telephone with these Greeks and Jesus?
Is the Greek's interest in Jesus the indicator that the hour has come?
Did politicians learn how not to answer questions from Jesus' example?
Did Jesus believe in the resurrection or just think he'd be a martyr?
What does it mean to hate our life in this world?
Where is Jesus?
Does Jesus know we are pretty much only motivated by reward?
How has God and will God glorify Their name?
Did people not understand the words from the voice from heaven?
Who is the ruler of this world?

What are your queeries?

Monday, March 5, 2018

lent 4 year b - john

John 3:14-21
Jesus said:
14“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
     so must the Human One be lifted up, 
          15that whoever believes in him may have everlasting life. 
16“For God loved the world in this way,
     that God gave Their only Child,
          so that everyone who believes in the Child may not perish
               but may have everlasting life.
17“Indeed, God did not send the Child into the world to condemn the world,
     but in order that the world might be saved through the Child. 
     18Those who believe in the Child are not condemned;
          but those who do not believe are condemned already,
               because they have not believed in the name of the only Child of God. 
     19And this is the judgment,
          that the light has come into the world,
          and people loved darkness rather than light
               because their deeds were evil. 
                    20For all who do evil hate the light
                    and do not come to the light,
                         so that their deeds may not be exposed. 
                    21But those who do what is true come to the light,
                         so that it may be clearly seen
                              that their deeds have been done in God.”

Queeries for the text:
What is everlasting life like?
How does Jesus embody God's love?
How is God saving the world?
How are "Christians" condemning the world?
What does it mean to believe in the name of the only Child of God?
Does God really have just one kid?  Aren't we all children of God?
What deeds do I not want to be exposed?
What does it mean to do what is true?

What are your queeries?

lent 4 year b - ephesians

Ephesians 2:1-10
You were dead through the trespasses and sins 
     2in which you once lived,
          following the course of this world,
          following the ruler of the power of the air,
               the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.
     3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh,
          following the desires of flesh and senses,
     and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

4But God, who is rich in mercy,
     out of the great love with which They loved us 
          5even when we were dead through our trespasses,
     made us alive together with Christ—
          by grace you have been saved— 
     6With Christ God raised us up
     and enthroned us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
          7so that in the ages to come 
               God might show the immeasurable riches of Her grace
                    in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 
     8For by grace you have been saved through faith,
          and this is not your own doing;
               it is the gift of God— 
                    9not the result of works,
                         so that no one may boast. 
                    10For we are what God has made us,
                         created in Christ Jesus for good works,
                              which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Queeries for the text:
What is the course of this world?
Who are the disobedient ones?
What are the passions of our flesh?
Is Paul coming out as Lutheran?
How are God's immeasurable riches of grace shown in this age?
What has God made us?
Who is the ruler of the power of the air?

What are your queeries?

lent 4 year b - numbers

Numbers 21:4-9
4From Mount Hor the Israelites set out by the way to the Red Sea,
     to go around the land of Edom;
          but the people became impatient on the way. 
               5The people spoke against God and against Moses,
                    “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt 
                         to die in the wilderness?
                    For there is no food and no water,
                         and we detest this miserable food.” 
     6Then the Sovereign sent poisonous serpents among the people,
          and they bit the people,
               so that many Israelites died. 
          7The people came to Moses and said,
               “We have sinned by speaking against the Sovereign and against you;
                    pray to the Sovereign to take away the serpents from us.”
               So Moses prayed for the people.
               8And the Sovereign said to Moses,
                    “Make a poisonous serpent,
                         and set it on a pole;
                              and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 
                    9So Moses made a serpent of bronze,
                         and put it upon a pole;
                              and whenever a serpent bit someone,
                                   that person would look at the serpent of bronze 
                                        and live.

Queeries for the text:
Where is Mount Hor?
Does the melodrama of the Israelites belong on a soap opera?
Is God a Slytherin?
How is there be both no food and yet "miserable food" that is detested?
Can God actually be good if God sends poisonous serpents among the people?
Did God want people to die?
Do we as humans ever recognize our sin without being punished or facing negative consequences?
What was Moses' prayer for the fickle folks who had spoken against him and God?  Did he take a page out of Jonah's book?

What are your queeries?