Sunday, July 29, 2018

11th after pentecost year b - john

Special thanks once again this week to River Needham for their collaboration!
John 6:24-35
24So when the crowd saw
     that neither Jesus nor his disciples were beside the sea,
          they themselves got into the boats 
          and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
               25When they found Jesus on the other side of the sea, 
                    they said to him, 
                         “Rabbi, when did you come here?”  
26Jesus answered them, 
     “Very truly, I tell you, 
          you are looking for me, 
               not because you saw signs, 
                    but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
          27Do not work for the food that perishes, 
               but for the food that endures for everlasting life, 
                    which the Human One will give you. 
                         For it is on the Human One 
                              that God, the Father, has set the seal.” 
28Then they said to Jesus, 
     “What must we do to perform the works of God?”  
29Jesus answered them, 
     “This is the work of God, 
          that you believe in the one whom God has sent.”  
30So they said to Jesus, 
     “What sign are you going to give us then, 
          so that we may see it and believe you? 
               What work are you performing?
          31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; 
               as it is written, 
                    ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 
32Then Jesus said to them, 
     “Very truly, I tell you, 
          it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, 
               but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
                    33For the bread of God is 
                         that which comes down from heaven 
                         and gives life to the world.”  
34They said to Jesus, 
     “Ruler, give us this bread always.”  
35Jesus said to them, 
     “I AM the bread of life. 
          Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, 
               and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip from last week to this week?
What kind of seal did "God the Father" set on Jesus?  Can this seal be broken?  Are these seals set on other creatures also?
Is Jesus making faith into a work?
Does Jesus want them to care about the sign or not?
Do they still want to make Jesus king?  Or do they just think that Jesus is a wizard
Is manna true bread or elven bread?  Is Jesus manna?
Will the Human One give the bread of life or does God?  Or is the Human One the bread of life?
What am I hungering for?
How does bread quench thirst?
How does Jesus feel about low-carb diet fads? 

What are your queeries?

Last night's sermon drew on my experience of queerying this text along with the first reading: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15.  As with other sermons, I understand clearly how they connect, but if you don't or you want to know more, please ask!

The visual for today's sermon.

Monday, July 23, 2018

10th after pentecost year b - john

Special thanks to River Needham for their collaboration on questions yet again!

John 6:1-21
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, 
     also called the Sea of Tiberias.
     2A large crowd kept following him, 
          because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
     3Jesus went up the mountain 
     and sat down there with his disciples.
          4Now the Passover, 
               the festival of the Jewish people, 
                    was near.
     5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, 
          Jesus said to Philip, 
               “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”
                    6Jesus said this to test Philip, 
                         for Jesus knew what he was going to do.
          7Philip answered Jesus, 
               “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread 
                    for each of them to get a little.”
          8One of Jesus' disciples, 
               Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, 
                    said to him,
                         9“There is a child here 
                              who has five barley loaves and two fish. 
                                   But what are they among so many people?”
          10Jesus said, 
               “Make the people sit down.” 
                    Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; 
                         so they sat down, 
                              about five thousand in all.
          11Then Jesus took the loaves, 
               and when he had given thanks, 
                    he distributed them to those who were seated; 
               so also the fish, 
                    as much as they wanted.
               12When they were satisfied, 
                    Jesus told his disciples, 
                         “Gather up the fragments left over, 
                              so that nothing may be lost.”
                                   13So they gathered them up, 
                                   and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, 
                                        left by those who had eaten, 
                                             they filled twelve baskets.
          14When the people saw the sign that Jesus had done, 
               they began to say, 
                    “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” 

15When Jesus realized that they were about to come 
     and take him by force to make him king, 
          he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
     16When evening came, 
          Jesus' disciples went down to the sea,
          17got into a boat, 
          and started across the sea to Capernaum. 
               It was now dark, 
               and Jesus had not yet come to them.
          18The sea became rough 
               because a strong wind was blowing.
                    19When they had rowed about three or four miles, 
                         they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, 
                              and they were terrified.
                    20But Jesus said to them, 
                         “Here I AM
                              do not be afraid.”
                                   21Then they wanted to take Jesus into the boat, 
                                        and immediately the boat reached the land 
                                             toward which they were going. 

Queeries for the text:
How many sides are there for Jesus to keep crossing over?
How does Passover's nearness matter?
How do we suffer from a theology of scarcity?
What do we lose with all of the fragments left over that we do not gather up?
If these children of Israel have already eaten, who gets these crumbs?
How can 12 baskets fit in 5 loaves?  How much fish was left over?
What does it mean to be a public leader who also exists in private, withdrawn spaces?
Why did the disciples leave without Jesus and then get scared when he caught up to them?  What else did they expect?
Does Jesus always come in dark, rough times?  Was the Holy Spirit just being extra persistent? 
What does space mean when Jesus can manipulate both water and shore?
Did Jesus ever actually get into the boat?

What are your queeries?

Today's sermon drew on this queerying of the text as well as today's second reading: Ephesians 3:14-21.  I've noticed the places where this gospel queery has impacted my sermon, but if you want to know more of my insights into those connections, please let me know!!

The visual for today's sermon.

If you'd like to listen to the sermon, the whole service was once again recorded and you are welcome to listen to it.  The second reading begins at 16:10.  The gospel reading begins at 17:44.  My sermon begins at 21:20.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

9th after pentecost year b - mark

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
30The apostles gathered around Jesus,
    and told him all that they had done and taught.
31Jesus said to them,
    “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves
         and rest a while.”
    For many were coming and going,
         and they had no leisure even to eat.
32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
    33Now many saw them going and recognized them,
         and they hurried there on foot from all the towns
              and arrived ahead of them.
34As Jesus went ashore,
    he saw a great crowd;
         and he had compassion for them,
              because they were like sheep without a shepherd;
         and Jesus began to teach them many things.
53When Jesus and the disciples had crossed over,
    they came to land at Gennesaret
    and moored the boat.
         54When they got out of the boat,
              people at once recognized Jesus,
              55and rushed about that whole region
              and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.
                   56And wherever Jesus went,
                        into villages or cities or farms,
                             they laid the sick in the marketplaces,
                             and begged him that they might touch 
                                  even the fringe of his cloak;
                                  and all who touched it were healed.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing?
Does Jesus ever actually succeed at resting?
How much unpaid labor is unquestioningly expected from others?
Where does Jesus' compassion lead us now?
Who are the sheep without a shepherd, living aimlessly, in our time?
Which many things did Jesus teach them?
How long does it take to "rush about that whole region"?
How fast could word spread about the woman who touched Jesus' cloak?
What is the power of the fringe?
What artificial boundaries does Jesus continue to cross?

What are your queeries?

Today's sermon drew on both the queeries in this text and today's second reading: Ephesians 2:11-22.  I understand the connections between the queerying my sermon and am happy to share if you have any questions or queeries of your own, just let me know!

This is the visual for my sermon.

If you'd like to listen to the sermon, the second reading begins at 17:10, the gospel reading begins at 19:35, and the sermon itself begins at 21:27.

Monday, July 9, 2018

8th after pentecost year b - mark

Special thanks to River Needham for their queerying collaboration this week!
Mark 6:14-29
14King Herod heard of the disciples’ preaching,
    for Jesus’ name had become known.
    Some were saying,
         “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead;
              and for this reason these powers are at work in him.”
    15But others said,
         “It is Elijah.”
    And others said,
         “It is a prophet,
              like one of the prophets of old.”
    16But when Herod heard of it, he said,
         “John, whom I beheaded,
              has been raised.”

17For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John,
    bound him,
    and put him in prison on account of Herodias,
         his brother Philip’s wife,
              because Herod had married her.
         18For John had been telling Herod,
              “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
    19And Herodias had a grudge against him,
         and wanted to kill him.
              But she could not,
                   20for Herod feared John,
                        knowing that he was a righteous and holy man,
                   and he protected him.
    When Herod heard John,
         he was greatly perplexed;
              and yet he liked to listen to him.
         21But an opportunity came when Herod
              on his birthday
                   gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers
                        and for the leaders of Galilee.
              22When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,
                   she pleased Herod and his guests;
                   and the king said to the girl,
                        “Ask me for whatever you wish,
                             and I will give it.”
                        23And he solemnly swore to her,
                             “Whatever you ask me,
                                  I will give you,
                                       even half of my kingdom.”
                   24She went out and said to her mother,
                        “What should I ask for?”
                   She replied,
                        “The head of John the baptizer.”
25Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested,
    “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
         26The king was deeply grieved;
              yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests,
                   he did not want to refuse her.
27Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard
    with orders to bring John’s head.
    The soldier went and beheaded him in the prison,
         28brought his head on a platter,
              and gave it to the girl.
                   Then the girl gave it to her mother.
         29When his disciples heard about it,
              they came and took his body,
                   and laid it in a tomb.

Queeries for the text:
Is Mark a Time Lord, experiencing everything as "a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey...stuff"?
How does life continue after death?
Is Jesus restricted to being just one of the roles people name? Does Jesus have to be any of them?
Is Herodias, the wife of Philip then Herod, trying to pull a Zeresh
How can celebration and death coexist?
Does Herodias, the daughter of Herodias and Herod, have PTSD from this experience?
Could Herod have put John's whole body on a giant platter alive instead of killing him?
Was Herodias' second marriage consensual?
Is it possible to be more dysfunctional than this family?

What are your queeries?