Saturday, December 19, 2020

Queerying All the Christmases

River Needham, MA queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: two shabbat candles next to a chalice. Behind them is a cloth embroidered with Hebrew and a bottle of white wine.
Tanakh I: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people that walked in darkness have seen a brilliant light; on those who dwelt in a land of gloom light has dawned.

You have magnified that nation, have given it great joy; they have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at reaping time, as they exult when dividing spoil. For the yoke that they bore and the stick on their back— the rod of their taskmaster— You have broken as on the day of Midian. Truly, all the boots put on to stamp with and all the garments donned in infamy have been fed to the flames, devoured by fire. For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. Authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named “The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler”— in token of abundant authority and of peace without limit upon David’s throne and kingdom, that it may be firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The zeal of the Becoming One of Angel Armies shall bring this to pass.

Queeries for the text:
How have Christians misappropriated this text?
Who was Hezekiah?


Tanakh II: Isaiah 62:6-12

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchers, who shall never be silent by day or by night. O you, the reminders of the Becoming One, take no rest and give no rest to Her, until She establishes Jerusalem and makes her renowned on earth. The Becoming One has sworn by Her right hand, by Her mighty arm: nevermore will I give your new grain to your enemies for food, nor shall foreigners drink the new wine for which you have labored. But those who harvest it shall eat it and give praise to the Becoming One; and those who gather it shall drink it in My sacred courts.

Pass through, pass through the gates! Clear the road for the people; build up, build up the highway! Remove the rocks! Raise a flag over the peoples!

See, the Becoming One has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Announce to fair Zion, your Deliverer is coming! See, Her reward is with Her, Her recompense before Her. They shall be called, “The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Becoming One,” and you shall be called, “Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.”

Queeries for the text:
What are tribute payments?
Who is colonized today?


Tanakh III: Isaiah 52:7-10

How welcome on the mountain are the footsteps of the herald announcing happiness, heralding good fortune, announcing victory, telling Zion, “Your God is Queen!”

Hark! Your watchers raise their voices, as one they shout for joy; for every eye shall behold the Becoming One’s return to Zion. Raise a shout together, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the Becoming One will comfort Her people, will redeem Jerusalem.The Becoming One will bare Her holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and the very ends of earth shall see the victory of our God.

Queeries for the text:
When did the Becoming One return to Zion?
What is the victory of our God?
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel readings.
ID: against a background of deep darkness, speckled with bright specks, yellow gas and clouds waft from a central bright point, from which a narrow line of light comes out, like a lightsaber.
Gospel 1: Luke 2:1-20
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the Roman world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 
4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5Joseph went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 
6While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And Mary gave birth to her firstborn and wrapped the infant in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guest room. 
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of God stood before them, and the glory of God shone around them, and the shepherds were terrified. 
10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see— I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Becoming One. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly angel armies, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!” 

15When the angels had left the shepherds and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which God has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 
20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Queeries for the text:
What was that night like for Mary?
Where was the manger?
What sort of workers were the shepherds?
Gospel 2: John 1:1-14
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The Word was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Her, and without Her not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in the Word was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 
6There was a person 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. 9The true light, which makes everyone vivid, was coming into the world. 
10The true light was in the world, and the world came into being through Faer; yet the world did not know Faer. 11The light came to what was Faen own, and Faen own people did not accept Faer. 12But to all who received the light, who believed in Faen name, the light gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of a man, but of God. 
14And the Word became flesh and pitched Her tent among us, and we have seen the glory of the Word, the glory as of a parent’s only child, full of grace and truth.
Queeries for the text:
Who is the Word?
How are light and darkness in conflict? How do they work together?
What is the will of those who are not a man?
What are your queeries?

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