Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Queerying Christmas 1

River Needham, MA queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Isaiah 61:10-62:3

ID: a Sukkot, built up for the festival of Sukkot, the third in a series of festivals in the Jewish High Holy Days, after Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashannah and before Simchat Torah.

I rejoice with the highest joy in the Becoming One. My whole existence exalts Her, for She has given me the triumphant clothes to wear and wrapped me in a cloak of victory. She has dressed me like a bride and groom in their wedding attire. Just like the earth brings forth growth and the garden feeds the seeds so they grow tall, so will Becoming Itself be victorious and known throughout the nations. I am not silent for the sake of Zion and Jerusalem. I cannot, I will not be still until she is victorious and resplendent, her triumph like an Olympic torch. As you travel the earth, nations will see the victory of the Becoming One, and every sovereign your majesty. You will be called by a new name that the Becoming One will give you. You will be a royal diadem and a glorious crown in the hands of the Becoming One. 

Queeries for the text:
What is the highest joy? Where can it be found?
What might be a cloak of victory?
What's the relationship between Becoming Itself and The Becoming One?
What is victorious about an Olympic torch?
How far did the world extend in this text?
Who gets a new name?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a Black woman welcomes and awaits the dawn with arms widespread
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

22When the time came for the family's cleansing according to the law of Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Becoming One 23(as it is written in the law of the Becoming One, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as set apart to the Becoming One”), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Becoming One, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on Simeon. 26It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Becoming One’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying, 29“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 

33And Joseph and the child's mother were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Jesus' mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 

36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow for eighty-four years. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Becoming One, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Jesus.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip? Why?
What cleansing? How is it customary?
Where else have I heard of two turtle doves?
How amazed could Mary and Joseph be after their experience with the shepherds?
When do swords pierce our souls?
Where is space for proclamations and prophecies from diverse people?
When is fasting good? Necessary? Harmful?
What does it mean to redeem a country?
What is the favor of God like?
What are your queeries?

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