Sunday, September 30, 2018

20th after pentecost year b - mark

Mark 10:2-16
2Some Pharisees came,
and to test Jesus they asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?”
3Jesus answered them,
“What did Moses command you?”
4They said,
“Moses allowed a husband to write a certificate of dismissal
and to divorce her.”
5But Jesus said to them,
“Because of your hardness of heart
Moses wrote this commandment for you.
6But from the beginning of creation,
‘God made them male and female.’  
7’For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
8and the two shall become one flesh.’
So they are no longer two,
but one flesh.
9Therefore what God has joined together,
let no one separate.”
10Then in the house
the disciples asked Jesus again about this matter.
11Jesus said to them,
“Whatever man divorces his wife
and marries another
commits adultery against her;
12and if she divorces her husband
and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

13People were bringing little children to Jesus
in order that he might touch them;
and the disciples spoke sternly to them.
14But when Jesus saw this,
he was indignant and said to them,
“Let the little children come to me;
do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the dominion of God belongs.  
15Truly I tell you,
whoever does not receive the dominion of God as a little child
will never enter it.”
16And Jesus took them up in his arms,
laid his hands on them,
and blessed them.

Queeries for the text:
What did the other Pharisees do while some tested Jesus?
Why do they ask a question they already know the answer to?
How have Genesis 1 and 2's merisms and creation accounts enforced a gender binary?  How could they challenge it?
What would be a contemporary equivalent to divorce in Jesus' time?
Could women divorce men in Jesus' time?
What do children have to do with divorce?
What does it mean to receive the dominion of God as a little child?
What blessing did Jesus give the children?

What are your queries?

Friday, September 28, 2018

20th after pentecost year b - genesis

This queery is brought to you by our periodic contributor, River Needham.

Note: I translate this with influence from my understanding of the Hebrew; this includes some changes in pronouns. Of particular note is my choice to use ey/em/eirs/emself pronouns for the human one (Adam). Additionally, I extended the pericope by one verse to reach the end of the chapter. These both affirm my hope to increase the variation in the ways the texts are read.

Genesis 2:18-24[25]
18And the Becoming God said: “It is not good that the human should be alone; I will make a helpmeet for em.” 19And out of the ground the Becoming God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto the human to see what ey would call them; and whatsoever the human would call every living creature, that was to be the name they would be called. 20And the human gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the human, there was not found a helpmeet for em. 21And the Becoming God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the human, and ey slept; and God took one of eir ribs and closed up the place with flesh instead thereof. 22And from the rib, which the Becoming God had taken from the human, God made a woman and brought her unto the human. 23And the man said: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cling unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.

Queeries for the text
Why is this text foundational to the heterosexual contract
How does the way gender is constructed in this passage feel un/comfortable?
Why is the human the default, rather than the woman? What does this reflect about how we engage with the world?
Why were the animals not appropriate helpmeets?
How does this story impact our understanding of God's omniscience?
How does the rib coming from the human make the woman queer? What are the other ways these characters are queer?
Why has the chain of families become important to society?
Who else in the Bible clings to each other?
What does it mean to be naked and unashamed?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

19th after pentecost year b - mark

Mark 9:38-50
38John said to Jesus,
     “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,
     and we tried to stop them,
          because they were not following us.”
39But Jesus said,
     “Do not stop them;
          for no one who does a deed of power in my name
               will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
          40Whoever is not against us is for us.
     41For truly I tell you,
          whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
               because you bear the name of Christ
                    will by no means lose the reward.

42“If any of you put a stumbling block
     before one of these little ones who believe in me,
          it would be better for you
               if a great millstone were hung around your neck
               and you were thrown into the sea.
43If your hand causes you to stumble,
     cut it off;
          it is better for you to enter life maimed
               than to have two hands
               and to go to hell,
                    to the unquenchable fire.  
45And if your foot causes you to stumble,
     cut it off;
          it is better for you to enter life lame
               than to have two feet
               and to be thrown into hell.  
47And if your eye causes you to stumble,
     tear it out;
          it is better for you to enter the dominion of God with one eye
               than to have two eyes
               and to be thrown into hell,
                    48where their worm never dies,
                    and the fire is never quenched.

49“For everyone will be salted with fire.
     50Salt is good;
          but if salt has lost its saltiness,
               how can you season it?
          Have salt in yourselves,
               and be at peace with one another.”

Queeries for the text:
Who else have disciples tried to stop from doing ministry in Jesus' name?
What is the reward?
What are today's stumbling blocks?
Who is placing the stumbling blocks?
How are Jesus' hyperboles harmful to others?
What does this have to do with what's going on today?
What hell is Jesus talking about?
Is being at peace with ourselves a prerequisite to being at peace with one another?
Does salt only work when it's angry?
If bodies are mostly water, what's our salt content?

What are your queeries?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

19th after pentecost year b - numbers

This queery is brought to you by our periodic contributor, River Needham.

Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
4And the mixed multitude that was among them fell to lusting; and the children of Israel also wept on their part, and said: "Would that we were given flesh to eat! 5We remember the fish, which we were able to eat in Egypt without thinking about it; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all; we have nothing except this manna to look to."

10And Moses heard the people weeping, family by family, every leader at the door of their family tent; and the anger of the Becoming One grew considerably; and Moses was displeased.

11Then Moses said to the Becoming One "Why have you dealt ill with your servant, and why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all these people upon me? 12Have I conceived all these people? Have I brought them forth, that you should say to me: Carry them in your bosom, as a nursing father carries the sucking child, to the land which you did swear to their parents? 13When should I have flesh to give to all these people, for they trouble me with their weeping, saying: Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14I am not able to bear all these people by myself, alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15And if you deal thus with me, kill me, I ask you, out of hand, if I have found favor in your sight; and let me not look at my wretchedness." 

16And the Becoming One said to Moses: "Gather unto me seventy of the elders of Israel, who you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring these elders to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 

24And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Becoming One; and Moses gathered seventy of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent. 25And the Becoming One came down in the cloud, and spoke to Moses, and took from the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 26But there remained two in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the spirit rested upon them; and they were among those recorded, but had not gone out unto the Tent; they prophesied in the camp. 27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said: "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28And Joshua, the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth up, answered and said: "My lord Moses, shut them in." 29And Moses said unto him: "Are you jealous for my sake? I would prefer that all the Becoming One's people were prophets, that the Becoming One would put Xyr spirit upon them!"

Queeries for the text:
What are we missing?
How do we lust for flesh today?
What kinds of flesh do we lust after?
What are our unwritten expectations of God?
How does God meet our unwritten expectations?
How is Moses a nursing father? What does this mean?
Where else does 70 show up in the Torah?
Why is Moses despondent? How do we respond when dealing with depressed people? How can we make that better?
Is the Spirit zero-sum?
How can Joshua deal with a polyamorous God?

What are your queeries?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

18th after pentecost year b - mark

Mark 9:30-37
30Jesus and the disciples went on from there 
     and passed through Galilee. 
          Jesus did not want anyone to know it;
               31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, 
                    “The Human One is to be betrayed into human hands, 
                    and they will kill him, 
                    and three days after being killed, 
                         he will rise again.”
                    32But they did not understand what he was saying 
                         and were afraid to ask him.

33Then they came to Capernaum; 
     and when Jesus was in the house he asked them, 
          “What were you arguing about on the way?”
     34But they were silent, 
          for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 
35Jesus sat down, 
     called the twelve, 
     and said to them, 
          “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”  
36Then he took a little child 
     and put it among them; 
     and taking it in his arms, 
          he said to them,
               37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, 
                    and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me 
                         but the one who sent me.”

Queeries for the text:
Where were they coming from?
Why were they afraid to ask?
How long will it take the disciples to get it?
Who were arguing?
How do humans try to be the greatest?
If we're just trying to be last in order to be first, does it really count?

From whom did Jesus get the child?
How do we welcome the children in Jesus' name?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

17th after pentecost year b - mark

Mark 8:27-38
27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; 
     and on the way he asked his disciples, 
          “Who do people say that I am?”  
28And they answered him, 
     “John the Baptist; 
     and others, Elijah; 
     and still others, one of the prophets.”  
29Jesus asked them, 
     “But who do you say that I am?” 
Peter answered him, 
     “You are the Messiah.”  
30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31Then Jesus began to teach them 
     that the Human One must undergo great suffering, 
     and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, 
     and be killed, 
     and after three days rise again. 
          32Jesus said all this quite openly. 
               And Peter took him aside 
               and began to rebuke him. 
          33But turning and looking at his disciples, 
               he rebuked Peter and said, 
                    “Get behind me, Satan! 
                         For you are setting your mind 
                              not on divine things but on human things.”

34Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, 
     “If any want to become my followers, 
          let them deny themselves 
          and take up their cross and follow me.
               35For those who want to save their life will lose it, 
               and those who lose their life for my sake, 
                    and for the sake of the gospel, 
                         will save it.
               36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world 
                    and forfeit their life?
                         37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
     38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words 
          in this adulterous and sinful generation, 
               of them the Human One will also be ashamed 
                    when he comes in the glory of his Papa with the holy angels.”

Queeries for the text:
Why is Jesus so interested in gossip?
How does Jesus hold saying things quite openly and yet ordering the disciples not to tell anyone?
How do we rebuke Jesus?
What human things are our minds set on?
What divine things are we missing?
What does it mean to deny ourselves and take up our cross?
What is the cost of following Jesus?
What is in profit?
How are we ashamed of Jesus?

What are your queeries?

Friday, September 7, 2018

17th after pentecost year b - isaiah

Special thanks to guest queerier, River Needham!  

Isaiah 50: 4-9a  
4The Becoming One has given me
    The tongue of those who are taught,
    That I should know how to sustain with words the one who is weary;
    Who awakens morning by morning,
    Who awakens my ear
    To hear as they who are taught.
5The Becoming One has opened my ear,
    And I was not rebellious,
    Nor turned away backward.
6I gave my back to the smiters,
    And my cheeks to the ones that plucked off the hair;
    I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
7For The Becoming One will help me;
    Therefore have I not been confounded;
    Therefore have I set my face like a flint,
    And I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8Xe is near who justifies me;
    Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together;
    Who is my adversary? Let Xem come near to me.
9Behold, the Becoming One will help me; 
    Who is the one who shall condemn me?

Queeries for the text:
Can tongues be transplanted?
How can words sustain us? Teach us?
What is ear opening? How would you respond to ear opening?
What does plucking out hair have to do with anything? What about spitting?
What does it look like when the Becoming One helps? How does it prevent being confounded?
What is justification in this passage; how does Xe enact it?
Is The Becoming One simultaneously justifier and adversary?
How does The Becoming One protect against condemnation?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

16th after pentecost year b - mark

Special thanks this week to collaboration from River Needham and Remy!

Mark 7:24-37
24Jesus set out
     and went away to the region of Tyre.
Jesus entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there.
     Yet he could not escape notice,
          25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit
               immediately heard about him,
               and she came and bowed down at his feet.
                    26Now the woman was a Gentile,
                         of Syrophoenician origin.
               She begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27Jesus said to her,
     “Let the children be fed first,
          for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”  
28But she answered him,
     “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”  
29Then Jesus said to her,
     “For saying that,
          you may go—
               the demon has left your daughter.”
          30So she went home,
               found the child lying on the bed,
                    and the demon gone.

31Then Jesus returned from the region of Tyre,
     and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee,
          in the region of the Decapolis.
     32They brought to him a deaf man
          who had an impediment in his speech;
     and they begged Jesus to lay his hand on him.
33Jesus took him aside in private,
     away from the crowd,
     and put his fingers into his ears,
     and he spat and touched his tongue.
          34Then looking up to heaven,
               Jesus sighed and said to him,
                         that is, “Be opened.”
               35And immediately his ears were opened,
               his tongue was released,
               and he spoke plainly.  
36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one;
     but the more he ordered them,
          the more zealously they proclaimed it.
               37They were astounded beyond measure, saying,
                    “He has done everything well;
                         he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

Queeries for the text:
How do you escape notice *inside a house*??
Why does it matter that she was a Gentile?
Are there any lengths to which a parent won't go for their child?
What "children" is Jesus talking about?
What did Jesus just call her?!?!?!
How quick-witted do you have to be to come up with such a subversive comeback?
What impact did this woman have on Jesus?
Who is the they?  Family?  Community?  People who don't know how to open up their community to other ways of communicating?
How do we make a spectacle in inappropriate ways?
What did the man actually want
How do we need to be opened?
Are they outing Jesus without his consent?
What could possibly have been done "well" in calling this woman a dog?
What would society be like if people didn't have to be "healed" in order to be included?
What did the man say when he began to speak?

What are your queeries?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

16th after pentecost year b - isaiah

Special thanks to this weeks guest queerier for Isaiah: River Needham.

Isaiah 35:4-7a
4Say to them that are of a fearful heart:
    "Be strong, fear not";
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
    With the recompense of God Xe will come and save you.
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6Then shall the lame one leap as a hart,
    And the tongue of the speechless shall sing;
    For in the wilderness shall waters break out,
    And streams in the desert.
7And the parched land shall become a pool,
    And the thirsty ground springs of water;

Queeries for the text:
Can you be strong and fearful simultaneously?  How?
What does it mean to be saved?
Why does God come with vengeance? Can God save with gentleness?
How can we interrupt the ableism in this passage?
How can we interpret this passage today?
What will the waters break out of?
Can the desert hold streams?
How does dirt become thirsty? Where does this surplus of water come from?

What are your queeries?