Our reading from the Tanakh is queeried by periodic queerier River Needham.
And you, O Bethlehem of Ephrath, least among the clans of Judah, from you one shall come forth to rule Israel for me—one whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Truly, ze will leave them helpless until she who is to bear has borne; then the rest of hir countryfolk shall return to the children of Israel. Ze shall stand and shepherd by the might of the Becoming One, by the power of the name of the Becoming One hir God, and they shall dwell secure. For lo, ze shall wax great to the ends of the earth; and that shall afford safety.
Queeries for the text:
What does it mean to be least or most?
Who rules the days? What is happening to these days during this time?
Who rules Israel? Why does the ruler need to be replaced?
Who is the ancient one? Who bears hir?
Why does the ruler leave them helpless?
Who is divine in this text? Where does it change through the passage?
How does a ruler make people safe?
Where are the ends of the earth? Where else do they come up in Tanakh?
How do Jewish people respond to Christian appropriation of this text?
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeried the gospel reading.
39In those days Mary set out
and went with haste to a Judean town
in the hill country,
40where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the child leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42and exclaimed with a loud cry,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43And why has this happened to me,
that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting,
the child in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed is she
who believed that what the Becoming One said to her
would be accomplished!”
46And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Becoming One,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48who has looked with favor on me,
a lowly servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is God's name.
50God's mercy is for those who fear Them
from generation to generation.
51God's arm is filled with strength,
scattering the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53God has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54God has helped Their servant Israel,
in remembrance of mercy,
55according to the promise God made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Queeries for the text:
Where does Mary's song come from?
Why was Mary in such a hurry?
Who is Elizabeth?
What happens in a person's body when the fetus is in the sixth month?
Why do Elizabeth's words sound so familiar?
Who is the she who is blessed and believed?
Which powerful need to be brought down? When?
How does God lift up the lowly?
Who are Abraham's descendants?
Where is Love?
What are your queeries?