Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Queerying 19th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Jeremiah 31:27-34

See, a time is coming—declares the Becoming One—when I will sow the House of Israel and the House of Judah with seed of humans and seed of cattle;  and just as I was watchful over them to uproot and to pull down, to overthrow and to destroy and to bring disaster, so I will be watchful over them to build and to plant—declares the Becoming One. In those days, they shall no longer say, “Parents have eaten sour grapes and children’s teeth are blunted.” But every one shall die for their own sins: whoever eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be blunted.  See, a time is coming—declares the Becoming One—when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them—declares the Becoming One. But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares the Becoming One: I will put my teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed the Becoming One”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me—declares the Becoming One. For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.

Queeries for the text:
Who is the House of Israel?
Are humans and cows planted?
What are sour grapes?
How are teeth blunted?
How might we have our hearts inscribed?
How do we do the work of forgiveness?
Does God forget when ze forgives?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told the disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2Jesus said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to the judge and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’  

4For a while the judge refused; but later said to zirself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”

6And the Powerful One said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to Faer chosen ones who cry to Fae day and night? Will Fae delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, Fae will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Human One comes, will Ze find faith on earth?”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What kind of judge are we talking about?
What if the widow had not been just in her request?
How do we wear out the unjust?
Who is more God-like: the widow or the judge?
Where does the after explanation come from?
What does it take for the widow to get justice? 

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Queerying 18th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Jeremiah 29:1, [2-3], 4-7

This is the text of the letter which the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the priests, the prophets, the rest of the elders of the exile community, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon  

[after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen and smiths had left Jerusalem. [The letter was sent] through Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah had dispatched to Babylon, to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.]

Thus said the Becoming God of Angel Armies, the God of Israel, to the whole community which I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there, do not decrease. And seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to the Becoming One on its behalf; for in its prosperity you shall prosper.

Queeries for the text:
How might this text be sent today?
Is the omitted portion necessary? Why was it omitted?
Where were the Angel Armies before the exile?
Who can build houses?
Who are the acceptable family members?
Who is erased in this passage?
Why is multiplication important?
What is the advice of this text to the exiles? What advice would you give instead?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
11On the way to Jerusalem
Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee.
12As he entered a village,
ten people who had leprosy approached him.
Keeping their distance,
13they called out, saying,
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14When Jesus saw them, he said to them,
“Go and show yourselves to the priests.”
And as they went,
they were made clean.
15Then one of them,
when ze saw that ze was healed,
turned back,
praising God with a loud voice.
16Ze prostrated zirself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.
And ze was a Samaritan.
17Then Jesus asked,
“Were not ten made clean?
But the other nine, where are they?
18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God
except this foreigner?”
19Then Jesus said to zem,
“Get up and go on your way;
your faith has made you well.”

Queeries for the text:
How much does the number 10 matter?
Why did the one turn back?  Why didn't the 9?
Why does it matter that ze was a Samaritan?
In returning to Jesus, did the Samaritan come out about zir identity?
Where can we give praise to the Divine?
Who isn't a foreigner in the region between two places?
Why does praising the Samaritan's faith matter?
Who are foreigners?  Who have always lived in the place?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Queerying 17th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Lamentations 1:1-5

Alas! Lonely sits the city that was once great with people! She that was great among nations has become like a widow. The princess among states has become a thrall. Bitterly she weeps in the night, her cheek wet with tears. There is none to comfort her of all her friends. All her allies have betrayed her; they have become her foes. Judah has gone into exile because of misery and harsh oppression; When she settled among the nations, she found no rest; all her pursuers overtook her in the narrow places. Zion's roads are in mourning, empty of festival pilgrims; all her gates are deserted. Her priests sigh, her maidens are unhappy—she is utterly disconsolate! Her enemies are now the masters, her foes are at ease, because the Becoming One has afflicted her for her many transgressions; her infants have gone into captivity before the enemy.

Queeries for the text:
What cities were once great with people?
Who weeps bitterly in the night? Why?
Who has been betrayed?
Who is in exile?
Where are there roads in mourning?
Where are the gates deserted?
Who is disconsolate?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 17:5-10
5The apostles said to the Powerful One, “Increase our faith!”

6The Powerful One replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

7“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip? Why might that be?
How does someone go about increasing someone else's faith?
What does Jesus' question imply about slavery?
(How) is slavery (in)compatible with following Jesus?
What sort of environment do mulberry trees need to grow?
Who among us has slaves?
Who does and who doesn't get a place at the table?

What are your queeries?