Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Queerying 14th after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.

IDL a photograph of a bronze statue of David and Jonathan. An undressed man is undressing another man from behind.

Tanakh: Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Hark! My beloved! There she comes, leaping over mountains, bounding over hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or like a young stag. There she stands behind our wall, gazing through the window, peering through the lattice. My beloved spoke thus to me, “Arise, my darling; my fair one, come away! For now the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The blossoms have appeared in the land, the time of pruning has come; the song of the turtledove is heard in our land. The green figs form on the fig tree, the vines in blossom give off fragrance. Arise, my darling; my fair one, come away!

Queeries for the text:
Who is my beloved?
Who speaks in this text?
What blossoms are we waiting for?
What are green figs?
What's going on?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a two-year-old with pale skin, light brown hair, and rolled up sleeves holds a hand under a faucet of running water.

Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Now when the religious authorities and lawyers who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, 2they noticed that some of Jesus' chosen family were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the religious authorities, and all the Jewish people, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the ancestors; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the religious authorities and lawyers asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the ancestors, but eat with defiled hands?”

6Jesus said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” 


14Then Jesus called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”


21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: immoral sex, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed and extortion, wickedness, deceit, shameless excess, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Queeries for the text:
What's missing?  How is it problematic?
What kind of handwashing is traditional?
How is washing good?
Why is Jesus so reactive towards these religious authorities? When else is Jesus reactive?
Which human traditions have taken over God's commands?
When else is defilement addressed?
What does immoral sex consist of?  Shameless excessEnvy?
What else defiles from within?

What are your queeries?


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