Thursday, May 28, 2020

Queerying Pentecost A

River Needham, M.A., queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Numbers 11:24-30

Moses went out and reported the words of the Becoming One to the people. He gathered seventy of the people’s elders and stationed them around the Tent. Then the Becoming One came down in a cloud and spoke to him; They drew upon the spirit that was on him and put it upon the seventy elders. And when the spirit rested upon them, they spoke in ecstasy but did not continue. Two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, had remained in camp; yet the spirit rested upon them—they were among those recorded, but they had not gone out to the Tent—and they spoke in ecstasy in the camp. A youth ran out and told Moses, saying, “Eldad and Medad are acting the prophet in the camp!” And Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ attendant from his youth, spoke up and said, “My lord Moses, restrain them!” But Moses said to him, “Are you wrought up on my account? Would that all the Becoming One’s people were prophets, that the Becoming One put Their spirit upon them!” Moses then reentered the camp together with the elders of Israel.

Queeries for the text:
How do we gatekeep people from our movements?
How is gatekeeping a helpful construct?
Who are the prophets who are ignored?
Who are the prophets we overhonor?
What do you have to say to the church today?
Who do you need to listen to?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5Now there were devout Jewish people from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jewish born and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”

12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd, “People of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your children of all genders shall prophesy, and your youth shall see visions, and your elders shall dream dreams. 18Even upon my slaves, of all genders, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Becoming One’s great and glorious day. 21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Becoming One shall be saved.’

Queeries for the text:
What kind of wind is violent?
What else can tongues do besides rest on people?
How else does communication happen on earth?
What bewilders us?
What is happening to native languages now?
What does this mean?
Who is prophesying today?
What visions are coming to people today?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Queerying Easter 7A

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

Acts 1:6-14
6So when the apostles had come together, they asked Jesus, “Leader, is this the time when you will restore the ruling power to Israel?”

7Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Parent has set by Their own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When Jesus had said this, as the apostles were watching, They were lifted up, and a cloud took Them out of the apostles' sight.

10While Jesus was going and the apostles were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two people in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “People of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Them go into heaven.”

12Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as Jesus' siblings.

Queeries for the text:
Who is seeking ruling power today?
What is for us to know?
Who knows the times and periods?
What sort of power does the Holy Spirit bring?
Who have been witnesses to the ends of the earth?  Is it a good thing?
Who wears white robes?
Which certain women?  Who are certain women?
Who are Jesus' siblings?

For Ascension Day Queeries, check out this link to last year's Acts reading.

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Queerying Easter 6A

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

Acts 17:22-31
22Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

24The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Leader of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor are They served by human hands, as though They needed anything, since God Themself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor They made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and God allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for Them and find Them—though indeed God is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In God we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are Their offspring.’ 29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now They command all people everywhere to repent, 31because God has fixed a day on which They will have the world judged in righteousness by a human whom They have appointed, and of this God has given assurance to all by raising Them from the dead.”

Queeries for the text:
What's the Areopagus?
What is it like to be extremely religious?
Does God need humanity?  Adoration?  Worship?
Which poets said we are God's offspring?
How are we God's offspring?
What do the art and imagination of mortals produce?
Where is judgment lacking?  Where is it needed?
How do people hold space for the unknown?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Queerying Easter 5A

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

Acts 7:55-60
55But filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” Stephen said, “I see the heavens opened and the Human One standing at the right hand of God!”

57But the religious authorities covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against Stephen. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Sovereign Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then Stephen knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Becoming One, do not hold this sin against them.” When Stephen had said this, he died.

Queeries for the text:
Who is Stephen?
What prompted this?
From what do we cover our ears?
What happens when crowds get together?  Can good come from groups?
Why are young men dangerous?
Who does Stephen sound like?

What are your queeries?