Monday, February 25, 2019

Transfiguration year C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Exodus 34:29-35
So Moses came down from Mount Sinai.
Then, as Moses came down from the mountain bearing the two tablets of the pact,
Moses was not aware that the skin of his face was radiant, since he had
spoken with Her.
Aaron and all the Israelites saw that the skin of Moses’ face was radiant; and they
shrank from coming near him.
But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the chieftains in the assembly returned
to him, and Moses spoke to them.
Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he instructed them concerning
all that the Becoming One had imparted to him on Mount Sinai.
And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.
Whenever Moses went in before the Becoming One to speak with Her, he would leave the veil off until he came out;
and when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,
the Israelites would see how radiant the skin of Moses’ face was.
Moses would then put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with Her.

Queeries for the text:
Where is Mount Sinai? Do other traditions of this story exist?
Which pact was on the two tablets?
How does radiance look on different types of skin?
Where else do the leaders of the congregation show up in Torah?
Why did the Israelites fear Moses? What made his radiance atypical?
Where else do veils show up in Torah? How are veils gendered? What about veils or wigs today?
How many times did Moses see Her? Was this a regular occurrence? What about people who hear directly from God today?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 9:28-36 [37-43]
28Now about eight days after these sayings
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James,
and went up on the mountain to pray.
29And while Jesus was praying,
the appearance of his face changed,
and his clothes became dazzling white.
30Suddenly they saw two men,
Moses and Elijah,
talking to Jesus.
31They appeared in glory
and were speaking of his departure,
which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep;
but since they had stayed awake,
they saw his glory
and the two men who stood with him.
33Just as the men were leaving him,
Peter said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good for us to be here;
let us make three dwellings,
one for you,
one for Moses,
and one for Elijah”
—not knowing what he said.
34While he was saying this,
a cloud came and overshadowed them;
and they were terrified as they entered the cloud.
35Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my Child,
my Chosen;
listen to him!”
36When the voice had spoken,
Jesus was found alone.
And they kept silent
and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

37On the next day,
when they had come down from the mountain,
a great crowd met Jesus.
38Just then a man from the crowd shouted,
“Teacher, I beg you to look at my son;
he is my only child.
39Suddenly a spirit seizes him,
and all at once he shrieks.
It convulses him until he foams at the mouth;
it mauls him
and will scarcely leave him.
40I begged your disciples to cast it out,
but they could not.”
41Jesus answered,
“You faithless and perverse generation,
how much longer must I be with you and bear with you?
Bring your son here.”
42While he was coming,
the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions.
But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit,
healed the boy,
and gave him back to his father.

43And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing,
Jesus said to his disciples,

Queeries for the text:
Eight days after which sayings?
What does glory look likeHow does transfiguration appear?
Where have we heard that claim before?
How could Peter not know what he was saying?
Where are other places that God shows up in clouds?
What does God's voice sound like?
Why can't the disciples cast out the demon?
Who is the faithless and perverse generation?
What did Jesus say?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

7th after Epiphany year C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Genesis 45:3-11, [12-14], 15
Joseph said to eir brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still well?”
But eir brothers could not answer em, so dumbfounded were they on account of em.
Then Joseph said to eir brothers, “Come forward to me.”
Then, when they came forward, ey said:
“I am your brother Joseph, ey whom you sold into Egypt.
Now, do not be distressed or reproach yourselves because you sold me to them;
it was to save life that God sent me ahead of you.
It is now two years that there has been famine in the land,
and there are still five years to come in which there shall be no yield from tilling.
God has sent me ahead of you to ensure your survival on earth,
and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance.
So, it was not you who sent me here, but God;
and She has made me a parent to Pharaoh, sovereign of all his household,
and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.
“Now, hurry back to my father and say to him:
Thus says your son Joseph, ‘God has made me lord of all Egypt;
come down to me without delay.
You will dwell in the region of Goshen, where you will be near me—
you and your children and your grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that is yours.
There I will provide for you—for there are yet five years of famine to come—
that you and your household and all that is yours may not suffer want.’
[You can see for yourselves, and my brother Benjamin for himself, 
that it is indeed I who am speaking to you. 
Then, you must tell my father everything about my high station in Egypt and all that you have seen;

and bring my father here with all speed.
With that ey embraced eir brother Benjamin around the neck and wept, 
and Benjamin wept on eir neck.]
Ey kissed all eir brothers and wept upon them; only then were eir brothers able to talk to em.

Queeries for the text:
What does Joseph's first question point to?
Who else in Torah is dumbfounded?
Why does this famine get extensive Biblical coverage? Where are there famines today? What causes the famine?
Is God condoning or partaking in human trafficking?
Why is it important for Joseph's father to come to em?
Where is Goshen?
What happens to all of the people who live in Goshen?
What do Benjamin's tears portray?
What might Joseph's brothers say to em?


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Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
Jesus said:
27“But I say to you that listen,
Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
28bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you.
29If anyone strikes you on the cheek,
offer the other also;
and from anyone who takes away your coat
do not withhold even your shirt.
30Give to everyone who begs from you;
and if anyone takes away your goods,
do not ask for them again.
31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32“If you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
For even sinners love those who love them.
33If you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
For even sinners do the same.
34If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
to receive as much again.
35But love your enemies,
do good,
and lend,
expecting nothing in return.
Your reward will be great,
and you will be children of the Most High;
who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
36Be merciful,
just as the One who made you and loves you is merciful.

37“Do not judge,
and you will not be judged;
do not condemn,
and you will not be condemned.
and you will be forgiven;
and it will be given to you.
A good measure,
pressed down,
shaken together,
running over,
will be put into your lap;
for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Queeries for the text:
What does it mean to love your enemy?
How do you pray for those who abuse you?
Why would you offer the other cheek?
Why would you strip naked for someone?
How is our relationship with money life-giving?  How is it life-taking?
When is it not good to do to others as you would have them do to you?
How has this text been harmful?
A good measure of what?

What are your queeries?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Queerying 6th after Epiphany year C


Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Jeremiah 17:5-10

Thus says the Becoming One:
Cursed is the one that trusts in a human,
and makes flesh their arm,
and whose heart departs from the Becoming One.
For they shall be like a tamarisk in the desert,
and shall not see when good comes;
but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
a salt land and not inhabited.
Blessed is the one that trusts in the Becoming One,
and whose trust the Becoming One is.
For they shall be as a tree planted by the waters,
that spreads out its roots by the river,
that shall not see when heat comes,
and its foliage will be luxurious;
it shall not be anxious in the year of drought,
Neither will it cease from yielding fruit.
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and it is exceedingly weak—who can know it?
I the Becoming One search the heart,
I try the reins,
even to give every one according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.

Queeries for the text:
What does it mean to be cursed? What curses follow us today?
Is the text pointing back to Judges? Does Hosea point back here? What do our hearts lust after today?
What is a tamarisk? Does it show up elsewhere in the Tanakh?
Is good a person? How does good come?
What is a blessing? Who is blessed? How many are there?
What is luxurious foilage? How could we reinterpret this metaphor for today?
How is the heart weak and deceitful?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 6:17-26
17Jesus came down with the twelve
and stood on a level place,
with a great crowd of his disciples
and a great multitude of people
from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.
18They had come to hear Jesus
and to be healed of their diseases;
and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.
19And all in the crowd were trying to touch Jesus,
for power came out from him and healed all of them.

20Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the dominion of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you
on account of the Human One.
23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy,
for surely your reward is great in heaven;
for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets."

Queeries for the text:
Where did Jesus come down from?
How does power come out from a person to heal?
Who are poor?  Hungry?
Who weeps?
Who is hated, excluded, reviled, and defamed?
What do our ancestors do to the prophets?
Who are rich?  FullLaughing?
How do we speak well?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Queerying 5th after Epiphany year C

Periodic Queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Isaiah 6:1-13
In the year that King Uzziah died, I beheld my Becoming One seated on a high and lofty throne;
and the skirts of Faer robe filled the temple.
Seraphs stood in attendance on Faer.
Each of them had six wings: with two she covered her face,
with two she covered her feet,
and with two she would fly.
And one would call to the other, “Holy, holy, holy!
The Becoming one, ruler of Angel Armies!
Faens presence fills all the earth!”
The doorposts would shake at the sound of the one who called,
and the House kept filling with smoke.
I cried, “Woe is me; I am lost!
For I am a human of unclean lips
and I live among a people of unclean lips;
yet my own eyes have beheld
the Faerie Queen, the Becoming One, ruler of Angel Armies.”
Then one of the seraphs flew over to me with a live coal,
which she had taken from the altar
with a pair of tongs.
She touched it to my lips and declared,
“Now that this has touched your lips,
your guilt shall depart and your sin be purged away.”
Then I heard the voice of the Becoming One, my ruler saying,
“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
So, I said, “Here am I; send me.”
Then, Fae said, “Go, say to that people:
‘Hear, indeed, but do not understand;
See, indeed, but do not grasp.’
Dull that people’s mind, stop its ears, and seal its eyes—
lest, seeing with its eyes,
and hearing with its ears,
it also grasp with its mind, and repent and save itself.”
I asked, “How long, my ruler?”
Fae replied: “Till towns lie waste without inhabitants and houses without people,
and the ground lies waste and desolate—
for the Becoming One will banish the population—
and deserted sites are many in the midst of the land.

“But while a tenth part yet remains in it, it shall repent. It shall be ravaged like the terebinth and the oak, of which stumps are left even when they are felled: its stump shall be a holy seed.”

Queeries for the text:
Who is King Uzziah?
How big is a skirt to fill the entire temple? What might this say about faer body?
Where else does woe show up in the Tanakh?
What might a seraphim look like?
What other religions have a faerie queen?
Do the Angel Armies participate in war? Is peace on earth possible?
What does coal do when it touches land?
Is the Becoming One ableist in Faer prophecy?
What does the Becoming One's exiling of Faer people say about Faer?
What is terebinth?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret,
and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God,
2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake;
the fishers had gone out of them
and were washing their nets.
3Jesus got into one of the boats,
the one belonging to Simon,
and asked him to put out a little way from the shore.
Then Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

4When Jesus had finished speaking,
he said to Simon,
“Put out into the deep water
and let down your nets for a catch.”
5Simon answered,
“Master, we have worked all night long
but have caught nothing.
Yet if you say so,
I will let down the nets.”
6When they had done this,
they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.
7So they signaled their partners in the other boat
to come and help them.
And they came and filled both boats,
so that they began to sink.
8But when Simon Peter saw it,
he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying,
“Go away from me, Lord,
for I am a sinful man!”
9For Simon and all who were with him were amazed
at the catch of fish that they had taken;
10and so also were James and John,
sons of Zebedee,
who were partners with Simon.
Then Jesus said to Simon,
“Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching people.”
11When they had brought their boats to shore,
they left everything and followed Jesus.

Queeries for the text:
Where is lake of Gennesaret?
How far is "a little way"?
Why did Simon Peter fall at Jesus' knees instead of Jesus' feet?
How do you teach in a boat to people on the shore?
What did Jesus say to the crowd?  Did Jesus ask before just hopping into the boat?
Did they normally fish in deep water?
How many fish do you need to make a boat sink?
Are Simon and Simon Peter the same person?
Why does Simon/Simon Peter want Jesus to go away?  What is he ashamed of?
Is catching humans a good thing?
Who took over the abandoned boats?

What are your queeries?