Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Queerying Epiphany B

River Needham, MA queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: View from the observation platform in Alishan, Taiwan just before sunrise

Tanakh: Isaiah 60:1-6

Get up, for your light has dawned; The Becoming One's essence has shined on you!
Look! Darkness shall cover the earth, the peoples will be covered with thick clouds; But upon you the Becoming One will shine, and Her presence be seen over you. Nations shall walk by your light, sovereigns, by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about: they have all gathered and come to you. Your sons shall be brought from afar, your daughters like babes on shoulders. As you behold, you will glow; your heart will throb and trill—for the wealth of the sea shall pass on to you, the riches of nations shall flow to you. Dust clouds of camels shall cover you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. They all shall come from Sheba; they shall bear gold and frankincense, and shall herald the glories of the Becoming One.

Queeries for the text:
What is the light that has dawned?
How is it the Becoming One's essence?
When else did darkness cover the earth?
What do sons and daughters refer to?
What is the wealth of the sea?
Where is Sheba?
Who heralds the Becoming One today?

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: against a cloudy background on a dark screen, two people who read as women stand with their backs against each other, one facing forward and one facing to the side. Their hair and skin are dark. The one facing forward has a black corset on and short, dangly earrings. The one facing to the side has a gold bangle on her hand that reaches to her head, is wearing longer hoops and an orange top, and she is wearing a head wrap.
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, witches from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born ruler of the Jewish people? For we observed their star at its rising, and have come to pay them homage.’ 
3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 
5They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
   who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod secretly called for the witches and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then Herod sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found her, bring me word so that I may also go and pay her homage.’ 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 

10When they saw that the star had stopped, the witches were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered the child gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, the witches left for their own country by another road.

Queeries for the text:
Who are the witches? What impact does gender have?
Why is Herod frightened?
Who are the religious leaders quoting?  What was it really about?
How do stars guide? When do stars move?
How old was Jesus when the witches arrived?
Why myrrh?
How do encounters change us? Our paths?
What happened next?
What are your queeries?

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