Thursday, June 18, 2020

Queerying 3rd after Pentecost A

River Needham M.A. queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: the Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, a wood carving by Gustave Doré

Tanakh: Genesis 21:8-21
The child grew up and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

Sarah saw the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham playing.

She said to Abraham, “Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned a son of his.

But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed over the boy or your slave; whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be continued for you.

As for the son of the slave-woman, I will make a nation of him, too, for he is your seed.”

Early next morning Abraham took some bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder, together with the child, and sent her away. And she wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

When the water was gone from the skin, she left the child under one of the bushes,

and went and sat down at a distance, a bowshot away; for she thought, “Let me not look on as the child dies.” And sitting thus afar, she burst into tears.

God heard the cry of the boy, and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heeded the cry of the boy where he is.

Come, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”

Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and let the boy drink.

God was with the boy and he grew up; he dwelt in the wilderness and became a bowman.

He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Queeries for the text:
[Note: These questions are pointedly toward white people.]
What do the Midrashim say about Hagar?
How is this story important to Islam?
Who do you most relate to in this text? Why do you feel a connection with them?
Who do those outside of us say that we are?
Who do we cast out? How do we cast them out?
How are we our kindred's keeper?
Who dies from the temper tantrums of white women?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a house sparrow stands on a light gray stone. The sparrow is a light gray-ish brown with light brown and black striped wings on its back.

Gospel: Matthew 10:24-39
Jesus said:
24“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of the household!

26“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. 37Whoever loves a parent more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves an offspring more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Queeries for the text:
What is the difference between teacher and master?
How is this text problematic?
What happens when people with power request secret keeping?
How many hairs are there to count?
From where do we get our value?
What sort of peace does Jesus resist?
How are family dynamics complicated?
How do we define people? How do we define God?

What are your queeries?

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