Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Queerying Advent 3B

River Needham, MA queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: the Dome of the Rock mosque behind a collonade of the temple mount in the old city of Jerusalem.

Tanakh: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

The spirit of Becoming itself rests on me because the Becoming One has annointed me. She has sent me as a herald of good news to the humble, first aid to the injured, release to those in prison, liberation to those oppressed. To proclaim a year of the Becoming One's favor, and of God's vindication. Comfort for those who mourn, provisions for them, turbans instead of ashes and festive ointments instead of ashes. Clothing full of color and joy instead of sadness. They shall be trees of victory for the Becoming One. The ancient cities will be restored, so will the desolate villages. The renewed city and desolations will teem with life.


For I, The Becoming One, love justice and fair wages. I hate robbery with burnt offerings, so I pay wages regularly and fairly. I make a timeless covenant with them. Their offspring will be known among the nations, their children among many people. All those who see these children will know that the Becoming One has blessed them. 

I rejoice in the Becoming One, my whole essence celebrates my God because she clothed me with triumphant clothes and put a victor's robe on me. Like a groom wearing a turban or a bride wearing her finest things. As the earth fosters plant growth and a garden of seeds shoot up, so will Becoming itself make victory and renown emerge in the presence of all the nations.

Queeries for the text:

Who or What is Becoming itself?
What is first aid to the injured?
How do we release those in prison?
Where is the liberation in our world?
What text was left out?
What areas in Israel long for restoration? What are possible resolutions?
Where are fair wages lacking in the US?
How are plants and growth becoming signs of victory?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading

ID: on white background, black lines form various patterns, including coming out like rays from one central point and repeating parallels across the page. A house with a cat is drawn in the bottom right corner.

Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7John came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through the light. 8John himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 


19This is the testimony given by John when the Judeans sent clergy and leaders from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 

20John confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 

21And they asked John, “What then? Are you Elijah?” 

John said, “I am not.” 

“Are you the prophet?” 

John answered, “No.” 

22Then they said to John, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 

23John said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Becoming One,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. 

24Now they had been sent from the clergy. 25They asked John, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 

26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of their sandal.” 

28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Queeries for the text:
What happens to witnesses?
What's missing?
Who questions prophets?
Who is not the Messiah?
What is John misquoting?
Who would want anything to be made straight?
Why do people baptize?
What else happens in Bethany?

What are your queeries?

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