Monday, May 28, 2018

2nd after pentecost year b - mark

Mark 2:23-3:6
23One sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields; 
     and as the disciples made their way 
          they began to pluck heads of grain.  
24The Pharisees said to Jesus, 
          why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”  
25And Jesus said to them, 
     “Have you never read what David did 
          when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food?
               26He entered the house of God, 
                    when Abiathar was high priest, 
               and ate the bread of the Presence, 
                    which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, 
               and he gave some to his companions.”  
27Then Jesus said to them, 
     “The sabbath was made for humankind, 
     and not humankind for the sabbath;
          28so the Human One is master even of the sabbath.”

3Again Jesus entered the synagogue, 
     and a man was there who had a withered hand.
          2They watched Jesus to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, 
               so that they might accuse him. 
3And Jesus said to the man who had the withered hand, 
     “Come forward.” 
4Then Jesus said to them, 
     “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, 
          to save life or to kill?” 
But they were silent.  
5Jesus looked around at them with anger; 
     he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, 
          “Stretch out your hand.” 
               The man stretched it out, 
               and his hand was restored.  
6The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired 
     with the Herodians against Jesus, 
          how to destroy him.

Queeries for the text:
What's the deal with the Sabbath?
Are Jesus and the disciples free loaders?  Are they gleaning like Ruth?
Are there any laws in the Bible that God and people actually uphold as good throughout?
What would happen if David tried that now in a church?
How is the Sabbath made for us?  Do we act like there even is a Sabbath at all anymore?
When will they learn that they can't trap Jesus?  Haven't they read the gospels??
Why is Jesus creating a false binary?
Would their trap have worked if they'd realized Jesus' binary was false and then rejected it?
When am I the silent one?
What grieves Jesus today?
What is the relationship between the Pharisees and the Herodians? 

What are your queeries?

Here is what I preached on this text (also referenced are Deuteronomy 5:12-15 and 2 Corinthians 4:5-12).  I also reference Sarah Rosales for this prophetic word.

Monday, May 21, 2018

holy trinity sunday year b - romans

Romans 8:12-17
12So then, siblings, we are debtors, 
     not to the flesh, 
          to live according to the flesh—
               13for if you live according to the flesh, 
                    you will die; 
     but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, 
          you will live.
               14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
                    15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, 
                         but you have received a spirit of adoption. 
          When we cry, “Abba! Papa!”
               16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit 
                    that we are children of God, 
                         17and if children, then heirs, 
                              heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—
                                   if, in fact, we suffer with Them
                                        so that we may also be glorified with Them.

Queeries for the text:
Are our only options Spirit or flesh?  What do those words even mean?  What are the deeds of the body?
What is a spirit of slavery?
How does fear control us?
What is a spirit of adoption?
Who are children of God?
If we're heirs, what do we inherit?
Is suffering with Christ our inheritance?

What are your queeries?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

holy trinity sunday year b - isaiah

Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died,
     I saw the Sovereign sitting on a throne,
          high and lofty;
          and the hem of Their robe filled the temple.
     2Seraphs were in attendance above God;
          each had six wings:
               with two they covered their faces,
               and with two they covered their feet,
               and with two they flew.
          3And one called to another and said:
               “Holy, holy, holy is the God of hosts;
                    the whole earth is full of God's glory.”
     4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called,
          and the house filled with smoke.

5And I said:
     “Woe is me!
          I am lost,
               for I am a man of unclean lips,
               and I live among a people of unclean lips;
                    yet my eyes have seen the Sovereign,
                         the God of hosts!”
6Then one of the seraphs flew to me,
     holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
          7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said:
               “Now that this has touched your lips,
                    your guilt has departed
                    and your sin is blotted out.”
8Then I heard the voice of God saying,
     “Whom shall I send,
          and who will go for us?”
And I said,
     “Here am I;
          send me!”

Queeries for the text:
Why is God so frequently high and lofty?
What was the robe made of?
What do they mean by "feet"?
If 7 is the holy number, why do they have 6 wings?
Why is the God of Peace also the God of "hosts"?
Did the incense get a bit out of hand?
What does it mean to be unclean?
How does fire purify?
Who is "us"?
How can we say, "Here am I; send me!" to God today? 
What are your queeries?

Monday, May 14, 2018

pentecost year b - acts

Acts 2:1-21
When the day of Pentecost had come, 
     the apostles were all together in one place.
     2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound 
          like the rush of a violent wind, 
               and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
     3Divided tongues, 
          as of fire, 
               appeared among them, 
          and a tongue rested on each of them.
     4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit 
     and began to speak in other languages, 
          as the Spirit gave them ability.

5Now there were devout Jews 
     from every nation under heaven  
          living in Jerusalem.
     6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, 
          because each one heard them speaking 
               in the native language of each.
     7Amazed and astonished, they asked, 
          “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
          8And how is it that we hear, 
               each of us, 
                    in our own native language?
               9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia
               Judea and Cappadocia
               Pontus and Asia,
               10Phrygia and Pamphylia
               Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene
               and visitors from Rome
                    both Jewish-born and proselytes,
               11Cretans and Arabs
                    in our own languages we hear them speaking 
                         about God’s deeds of power.”  
12All were amazed and perplexed, 
     saying to one another, 
          “What does this mean?”  
13But others sneered and said, 
     “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, 
     raised his voice and addressed them, 
          “People of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, 
               let this be known to you, 
               and listen to what I say.
                    15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, 
                         for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.
               16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
                    17‘In the last days it will be, God declares, 
                         that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, 
                         and your children shall prophesy, 
                         and your youth shall see visions, 
                         and your elders shall dream dreams.
                    18Even upon my slaves, of all genders, 
                         in those days I will pour out my Spirit; 
                              and they shall prophesy.
                    19And I will show portents in the heaven above 
                    and signs on the earth below, 
                         blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
                    20The sun shall be turned to darkness 
                    and the moon to blood, 
                         before the coming of the God’s great and glorious day.
                              21Then everyone who calls on the divine name 
                                   shall be saved.’

Queeries for the text:
Was it just the sound or could you feel the violence of the wind?
Were the tongues of fire Hermione's blue flames?  Or did the apostles take Snape's potion?
Is God a pyro?
Is this where Martin Luther got his "Was ist das?" question from?
What other ways do we try to dismiss God's work in others when we don't understand it?
Is God in the dark and the tumult more than in the calm light?
What would happen if people from all those places gathered together today? 

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

easter 7 year b - acts

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
15In those days 
     Peter stood up among the believers 
          (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) 
     and said,
          16“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, 
               which the Holy Spirit through David foretold 
                    concerning Judas, 
                         who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—
                              17for he was numbered among us 
                              and was allotted his share in this ministry.”
          21“So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time 
               that the Sovereign Jesus went in and out among us,
                    22beginning from the baptism of John 
                    until the day when Jesus was taken up from us—
                         one of these must become a witness with us 
                              to the resurrection.”
23So they proposed two, 
     Joseph called Barsabbas, 
          who was also known as Justus, 
     and Matthias. 
24Then they prayed and said, 
     “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. 
          Show us which one of these two you have chosen
               25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship 
                    from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
26And they cast lots for them, 
     and the lot fell on Matthias; 
          and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Queeries for the text:
Is Peter confusing himself with God?
Does God even want someone to replace Judas?
What if God wants all of us to replace Judas?
Is "Luke" as obsessed with the perfection of the number 12(0) as Peter is?
Is Peter taking the easy way out?
Why does Peter only consider men? Is he that intimidated by people of other genders?
Does Peter even give God a "none of the above" option in this casting of lots?
Isn't Paul the final apostle? 
What would it look like to always have room for one more follower instead of obsessively filling in the extra spot to avoid any perception of imperfection?
What are your queeries?