River Needham M.A., queeries the Tanakh reading.
Tanakh: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
See, I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity.
For I command you this day, to love the Becoming One your God, to walk in Her ways, and to keep Her commandments, Her laws, and Her rules, that you may thrive and increase, and that the Becoming One your God may bless you in the land that you are about to enter and possess.
But if your heart turns away and you give no heed and are lured into the worship and service of other Gods, I declare to you this day that you shall certainly perish; you shall not long endure on the soil that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life—if you and your offspring would live— by loving the Becoming One your God, heeding Her commands, and holding fast to Her. For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that the Becoming One swore to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.
Queeries for the text:
What dualisms are set up in this text? How can they be queered?
How are ways, commandments, laws and rules similar? How are they different?
Who are the other Gods? What kind of relationship to the Becoming One exists in this text?
How does the text handle its forays into the future? How does knowing what comes after change your encounter with the text?
What does it mean to value life? What are your personal growing edges in valuing life? What are the growing edges of society?
Where does choosing life lead us to today? Is that a worthwhile destination? What are the unintended consequences?
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Matthew 5:21-37
21“You have heard that it was said to
those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders
shall be liable to judgment.’
22But I say to you that if you are angry
with a sibling, you will be liable to judgment; and if you
insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if
you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.
23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your sibling has something against you,
24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your sibling, and then come and offer your gift.
25Come to terms quickly with your accuser
while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you
over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown
26Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your
members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
30And if your right hand causes you to
sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of
your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32But I say to you that anyone who
divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to
commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it
was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but
carry out the vows you have made to the Becoming One.’
34But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35or by the earth, for it is her footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great Queen.
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Queeries for the text:
How does anger lead to death? How is anger good?
What does "you fool" sound like?
Who are the powerful Jesus is talking to? How does Jesus address power?
Who might be assumed to look at a woman with lust? What does this imply about victim blaming? How does personal responsibility impact these situations?
What would happen to a woman if she received a certificate of divorce? How did they perpetuate the patriarchy?
What is Jesus saying about control?
What are your queeries?