Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Queerying Epiphany

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries today's reading from the Tanakh.

Tanakh - Isaiah 60:1-6
Arise, shine, for your light has dawned;
The Presence of the Becoming One has shone upon you!
Behold! Darkness shall cover the earth, And thick clouds the peoples;
But upon you the Becoming One will shine, and
Their presence be seen over you.
And nations shall walk by your light, Kings, by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about: the nations have all gathered and come to you.
Some of your children shall be brought from afar,
Other children like babes on shoulders.
As you behold, you will glow; your heart will throb and thrill— for the wealth of the sea shall pass on to you, the riches of nations shall flow to you.
Dust clouds of camels shall cover you, dromedaries of Midian and Ephah.
They all shall come from Sheba; They shall bear gold and frankincense, and shall herald the glories of the Becoming One.

Queeries for the text:
What light has dawned?
What is the Presence of the Becoming One?
What is darkness?
Where else does The Becoming One shine?
What is this Shining Radiance?
Can you be brought from afar on shoulders? What does this imply about those traveling?
Where else do hearts throb and thrill?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries today's gospel reading.

Gospel - Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod,
after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
magi from the East came to Jerusalem,
2asking, “Where is the child who has been born ruler of the Jews?
For we observed their star at its rising,
and have come to pay them homage.”
3When King Herod heard this,
he was frightened,
and all Jerusalem with him;
4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people,
he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
5They told him,
“In Bethlehem of Judea;
for so it has been written by the prophet:
6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”
7Then Herod secretly called for the magi
and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.
8Then he sent them to Bethlehem,
saying, “Go and search diligently for the child;
and when you have found him,
bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”

9When they had heard the king,
the magi set out;
and there, ahead of them,
went the star that they had seen at its rising,
until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10When they saw that the star had stopped,
the magi were overwhelmed with joy.
11On entering the house,
they saw the child with Mary his mother;
and they knelt down and paid him homage.
Then, opening their treasure chests,
they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they left for their own country by another road.

Queeries for the text:
What are magi and which one is Jesus' star?
Why was all Jerusalem frightened with King Herod?
Why didn't Herod know where the Messiah was to be born?  Which prophet wrote that?
Why did Herod call the magi back secretly?
Why does Herod assume the baby will be a boy?
What does it feel like to be overwhelmed with joy?
When did the Holy Family get a house?
How many magi were there?  How did they make it across so many lands?  Why gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
What warnings are dreams bringing today?
How can we take another road?

What are your queeries?

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