Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Queerying Easter 5C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

Acts 11:1-18
Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard
that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God.
2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem,
the circumcised believers criticized him,
3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men
and eat with them?”
4Then Peter began to explain it to them,
step by step, saying,
5“I was in the city of Joppa praying,
and in a trance I saw a vision.
There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven,
being lowered by its four corners;
and it came close to me.
6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals,
beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air.
7I also heard a voice saying to me,
‘Get up, Peter;
kill and eat.’
8But I replied,
‘By no means, Holy One;
for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
9But a second time the voice answered from heaven,
‘What God has made clean,
you must not call profane.’
10This happened three times;
then everything was pulled up again to heaven.

11“At that very moment three men,
sent to me from Caesarea,
arrived at the house where we were.
12The Spirit told me to go with them
and not to make a distinction between them and us.
These six believers also accompanied me,
and we entered the man’s house.
13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying,
‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon,
who is called Peter;
14he will give you a message
by which you and your entire household will be saved.’
15And as I began to speak,
the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning.
16And I remembered Jesus' words,
having said,
‘John baptized with water,
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
17If then God gave them the same gift
that God gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I that I could hinder God?”
18When the apostles and believers who were in Judea heard this,
they were silenced.
And they praised God, saying,
“Then God has given
even to the Gentiles
the repentance that leads to life.”

Queeries for the text:
Why do they only care about the men in the story?  What about people of other genders?
Where and with whom does the story really begin?
What do the animals have in common?
Why is Peter so invested in binaries?
Why does it take Peter so long to get what God is trying to say?
Which six believers?
Did the Holy Spirit trip?  On what?
Who needs to be silenced today?  Who needs to stop being silent?  How does God surprise us into silence?
Why are Peter and the believers so surprised that God is with those who are different from them?

What are your queeries?

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