Monday, November 2, 2020

Queerying 23rd after Pentecost A

This week we queery in loving memory of the Rev. Dr. Cheryl Pero, who died this past week after a short illness.

ID: the Rev. Dr. Pero in a purple and pink sleeveless dress, with her slightly graying hair pulled back into a ponytail. She's sitting in front of a white background at a woodgrain colored table with her elbow on the table and her hand on her chin. Her other hand reaches around her elbow.

After nearly three months away, and passing her Ph.D. qualifying examinations, River Needham M.A., returns and queeries the Tanakh reading this week. 

Tanakh: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25

Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Schechem. He summoned Israel’s elders and commanders, magistrates and officers; and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people, “Thus said the Becoming One, the God of Israel: In olden times, your ancestors—Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods. But I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and led him through the whole land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring.
“Now, therefore, revere the Becoming One and serve Hir with undivided loyalty; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the Becoming One. Or, if you are loath to serve the Becoming One, choose this day which ones you are going to serve—the gods that your forefathers served beyond the Euphrates, or those of the Amorites in whose land you are settled; but I and my household will serve the Becoming One.” 

In reply, the people declared, “Far be it from us to forsake the Becoming One and serve other gods! For it was the Becoming One our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, the house of bondage, and who wrought those wondrous signs before our very eyes, and guarded us all along the way that we traveled and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. And then the Becoming One drove out before us all the peoples—the Amorites—that inhabited the country. We too will serve the Becoming One, for Xe is our God.” 

Joshua, however, said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Becoming One, for Xe is a holy God. Xe is a jealous God; Xe will not forgive your transgressions and your sins. If you forsake the Becoming One and serve alien gods, Xe will turn and deal harshly with you and make an end of you, after having been gracious to you.” 
But the people replied to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Becoming One!” 
At which point, Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have by your own act chosen to serve the Becoming One.” 
“Yes, we are!” they responded. “Then put away the alien gods that you have among you and direct your hearts to the Becoming One, the God of Israel.” 
And the people declared to Joshua, “We will serve none but the Becoming One our God, and we will obey none but Hir.”

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this text?
How might the ancestral gods be read differently?
How does this text read in an election year?
Why is jealousy portrayed as an acceptable reason for violence?
Where does God act violently?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel:  Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus said:

"Then the dominion of heaven will be like this. Ten attendants of the wedding party took their lamps and went to meet the betrothed. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 

5As the betrothed was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the betrothed! Come out to meet them.’ 

7Then all those attendants got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 

9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 

10And while they went to buy it, the betrothed came, and those who were ready went with them into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 

11Later the other attendants came also, saying, ‘Liege, liege, open to us.’ 

12But they replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 

13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

Queeries for the text:
How might a collectivist culture read this text?
How might a capitalist culture read this text?
How might a single person read this text?
How might a polyamorous person read this text?
What other options do the attendants have?
What are we waiting for?
Who do we not know?
Who doesn't know us?

What are your queeries?

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