Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Queerying 6th after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: a pitcher of anointing oil with a branch of green olives in front of it.

Tanakh: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. Long before now, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel in war; and the Becoming One said to you: You shall shepherd My people Israel; you shall be ruler of Israel.” All the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Hebron before the Becoming One. They anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.


David occupied the stronghold and renamed it the City of David; David also fortified the surrounding area, from the Millo inward. David kept growing stronger, for the Becoming One, the God of Angel Armies, was with him.

Queeries for the text:
Who else rules instead of the king/queen? 
What is missing from this text?
Who else has asked for a ruler?
Who is God with today?
Who rules over the u.s.?
Who wrote this text?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: towards sunset, a dirt path winds in shaddow through bushes and trees.  The tops of the trees are lit up and the sky is a muted blue.

Gospel: Mark 6:1-13
Jesus left that place and came to his hometown, and his chosen family followed him. 2On the sabbath Jesus began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and sibling of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Jesus.

4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5And Jesus could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then Jesus went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8Jesus ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12So the twelve went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Queeries for the text:
Where did Jesus leave?
Who takes offense at new wisdom?
What keeps us from deeds of power?
Who takes nothing today?
Who provides hospitality?
What happens when you shake off dust?
From what should we repent?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Queerying 5th after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: red blood cells float along in a vein with small white particles scattered around.

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43

21When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”

24So Jesus went with Jairus. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from vaginal bleeding for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”

31And Jesus' disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’”

32Jesus looked all around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told Jesus the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?”

36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.”

40And they laughed at Jesus. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s parents and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement.

43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?  Whose names are missing?
Who is at the point of death?
Who endures much under many physicians?
What happens when someone loses all that blood?
What are the boundaries of self?
What makes us well?  From what diseases do we need healing?
What happens when different people have needs?
What happens while someone is still speaking?
Who counts as no one?
When is healing private?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Queerying 4th after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: a collection of three stones

Tanakh: 1 Samuel 17:32-49

David said to Saul, “Let no person's courage fail them. Your servant will go and fight that Philistine!”

But Saul said to David, “You cannot go to that Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth!”

David replied to Saul, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep, and if a lion or a bear came and carried off an animal from the flock, I would go after it and fight it and rescue it from its mouth. And if it attacked me, I would seize it by the beard and strike it down and kill it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and that uncircumcised Philistine shall end up like one of them, for he has defied the ranks of the living God.

The Becoming One,” David went on, “who saved me from lion and bear will also save me from that Philistine.” “Then go,” Saul said to David, “and may the Becoming One be with you!”

Saul clothed David in his own garment; he placed a bronze helmet on his head and fastened a breastplate on him.

David girded his sword over his garment. Then he tried to walk; but he was not used to it. David said to Saul, “I cannot walk in these, for I am not used to them.” So David took them off.

He took his stick, picked a few smooth stones from the wadi, put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag and, sling in hand, he went toward the Philistine.

The Philistine, meanwhile, was coming closer to David, preceded by his shield-bearer.

When the Philistine caught sight of David, he scorned him, for he was but a boy, ruddy and handsome.

And the Philistine called out to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with sticks?” The Philistine cursed David by his gods; and the Philistine said to David, “Come here, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”

David replied to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come against you in the name of the Becoming God of Angel Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel, whom you have defied.

This very day the Becoming One will deliver you into my hands. I will kill you and cut off your head; and I will give the carcasses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. All the earth shall know that there is a God in Israel.

And this whole assembly shall know that the Becoming One can give victory without sword or spear. For the battle is the Becoming One's, and Femme will deliver you into our hands.”

When the Philistine began to advance toward him again, David quickly ran up to the battle line to face the Philistine.

David put his hand into the bag; he took out a stone and slung it. It struck the Philistine in the forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

Queeries for the text:
What makes things scary? What are the big scary things in your life?
What is a wadi?
Why did the Philistine die?
How does God make Femmes will come to be?
Where is God's preferential option?
Where do we celebrate death today?

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: against a white background, green forms the actual shape of Louisiana with significant water erosion compared to what is commonly used on maps to represent Louisiana.

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41
35On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to his chosen family, “Let us go across to the other side.”

36And leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.

38But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and his chosen family woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

39Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to his chosen family, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Queeries for the text:
On which day?
When does Jesus call us to cross to the other side?
Who do we take just as they are?
When is weather dangerous?
What have you slept through?
Who is perishing?
Why are we afraid?  Where is our faith?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Queerying 3rd after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: Epiphytic orchid (from family Orchidaceae) growing on a tree. Epiphytes are non-parasitic plants that grow upon or attach to a living plant, mainly for support. Epiphytic orchids have the smallest known seeds. Photographed in Madagascar by  Philippe Psaila.

Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
26Jesus also said, “The reign of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, they do not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once they go in with the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30Jesus also said, “With what can we compare the reign of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to the gathered followers, as they were able to hear it; 34Jesus did not speak to them except in parables, but explained everything in private to the disciples.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What do we know about God's reign? 
What do farmers and gardeners know?
What conspires with the earth?
What's smaller than a mustard seed?
How great can a shrub actually be?
Why parables?  Why private explanations?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Queerying 2nd after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: A screenshot of a 5-person zoom shows from top left to bottom right: 1-a white fat transgender woman wearing a purple and black blouse, bright pastel purple lipstick and purple hair. She is wearing a headset and her background shows green code like in the Matrix. Her name plate reads: River (she/her/hers or none). 2-a white nonbinary trans person with a green t-shirt and visible blue glasses, blue eyes, and a smile emerging from the outerspace view of a night on earth background with a colorful string of lights at the top.  Their nameplate reads: Emily E (they/them/elle). 3-Pace is an enby, their screen's name says Pace Dubs (they/them). They are wearing a blue knitted shirt, sporting a five o'clock shadow, and disheveled charcoal hair. The background is blurry. They have a delighted smile. 4-a white cisgay man offset to the left of his camera with dark hair and light facial hair wears a grey polo and dark gray zip hoodie and sits on a gray couch with a blurred background.  His nameplate reads Matt (he/him). 5-a white nonconforming woman with dark glasses holds her face in her hands and smiles adoringly at the camera.  She wears a blue-gray shirt and sits in a tall black office chair with a volcano erupting in the background.  Her nameplate reads suzannah (she/her).

Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
20and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21When Jesus' family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

23And Jesus called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24If a reign is divided against itself, that reign cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27But no one can enter a strong person’s house and plunder their property without first tying up the strong person; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31Then Jesus' mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.

32A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to Jesus, “Your mother and your siblings are outside, asking for you.”

33And Jesus replied, “Who are my mother and my siblings?” 34And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my siblings! 35Whoever does the will of God is my sibling and mother.”

Queeries for the text:
When did the crowd come together before?
Who is out of their mind?  Who do we restrain?
By whom are demons cast out?
Who is divided?
What is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
Why don't people come inside?
Who is family?

What are your queeries?