Thursday, June 11, 2020

Queerying 2nd after Pentecost A

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

Abraham and the Three Angels (engraving by Gustave Doré from the 1865 La Sainte Bible)

Tanakh: Genesis 18:1-15

The Becoming One appeared to Abraham by the terebinths of Mamre; Abraham was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot. Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground, he said, “My lords, if it please you, do not go on past your servant. Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the tree. And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may refresh yourselves; then go on—seeing that you have come your servant’s way.” They replied, “Do as you have said.” Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quick, three seahs of choice flour! Knead and make cakes!” Then Abraham ran to the herd, took a calf, tender and choice, and gave it to a servant-boy, who hastened to prepare it. He took curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree as they ate. They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he replied, “There, in the tent.”

Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!”

Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped menstruation. 
Then, Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment—with my husband so old?”

Then the Becoming One said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too wondrous for the Becoming One? I will return to you at the same season next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was frightened.

But The Becoming One replied, “You did laugh.”

Queeries for the text:
What are the terebinths of Mamre?
What is the purpose of Abraham's greeting?
Where do the men end up going? Why?
How do these characters challenge misogyny?
Who menstruates?
Why does the Becoming One put words in Sarah's Mouth?
How is laughter life giving?
How does laughter kill?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Matthew 9:35-10:8[9-23]

35Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the reign, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, Jesus had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to the disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Head of the harvest to send out laborers into xyr harvest.”

10:1Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The reign of heaven has come near.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. [9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Provider speaking through you. 21Sibling will betray sibling to death, and a parent xyr child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Human One comes.]

Queeries for the text:
Who is harassed today?  Who is helpless?
Who is sent to their own people?
How do we create peace? What does peace not look like?
Who are wise as serpents?  Who are innocent as doves?  Who are both?
How does the Spirit speak through you?  Through others?

What are your queeries?

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