Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Queerying All Saints B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a cemetary with flowers and bright lights near most of the nameplates. A city is lit up on a hill behind.
Tanakh: Isaiah 25:6-9
The Becoming One of angel armies will make on this mount
For all the peoples
A banquet of rich foods,
A banquet of choice wines
Of rich foods seasoned with marrow,
Of choice wines well refined.
And E will destroy on this mount the shroud
That is drawn over the faces of all the peoples
And the covering that is spread
Over all the nations:
E will destroy death forever.
My Becoming God will wipe the tears away
From all faces
And will put an end to the reproach of Eir people
Over all the earth—
For it is the Becoming One who has spoken.
In that day they shall say:
This is our God;
We trusted in Em, and E delivered us.
This is the Becoming One, in whom we trusted;
Let us rejoice and exult in Eir deliverance!

Queeries for the text:
What rich food and fine wines are without guilt?
What is deliverance?
What is the feast referenced?
What is the final disposition of death?
For whom do we mourn?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a tank binder with plant imagery on either side and a ribbon at the bottom that reads "BindersOUT" is crosshatched in black and white with a round frame.
Gospel: John 11:32-44
32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Teacher, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid Lazarus?”

They said to Jesus, “Teacher, come and see.”

35Jesus began to weep.

36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind one have kept this one from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Jesus, “Teacher, already there is a stench because Lazarus has been dead four days.”

40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Caregiver, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to those gathered, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Queeries for the text:
Why did Jesus come here?
Why were the Jews following Mary?
Why do we weep?
Where is the stench of death?
What do we say for the sake of others
Who else comes out? How does Lazarus come out?
What is bound? What needs binding?

What are your queeries?

Queerying Reformation B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, showing the instruments of the cross counter the infant Jesus clinging to his mother.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 30:31-34
See, a time is coming—declares the Becoming One—when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them—declares the Becoming One. But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares the Becoming One: I will put My teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed the Becoming One”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me—declares the Becoming One.

Queeries for the text:
What possibilities for new covenants exist in the text?
What does it mean to inscribe on the heart?
Who are My people?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: John 8:31-36
31Then Jesus said to the Jewish people who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

33They answered Jesus, “We are descendants of Abraham and Sarah and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is enslaved to sin. 35The enslaved person does not have a permanent place in the household; the child has a place there forever. 36So if the Child makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Queeries for the text:
What is Jesus' word?
How is history selective?
Who is enslaved today?
Which children don't have a permanent place in the household?
What could freedom look like?

What are your queeries?


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Queerying 22nd after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a wooden door with a chalk sign hanging over it that says "Open."
Tanakh: Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Job said in reply to the Becoming One:
I know that You can do everything,
That nothing You propose is impossible for You.
Who is this who obscures counsel without knowledge?
Indeed, I spoke without understanding
Of things beyond me, which I did not know.
Hear now, and I will speak;
I will ask, and You will inform me.
I had heard You with my ears,
But now I see You with my eyes;
Therefore, I recant and relent,
Being but dust and ashes.


The Becoming One restored Job’s fortunes when he prayed on behalf of his friends, and the Becoming One gave Job twice what he had before. All his brothers and sisters and all his former friends came to him and had a meal with him in his house. They consoled and comforted him for all the misfortune that the Becoming One had brought upon him. Each gave him some money and each one gold ring. Thus the Becoming One blessed the latter years of Job’s life more than the former. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand she-asses. He also had seven sons and three daughters. The first he named Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. Nowhere in the land were women as beautiful as Job’s daughters to be found. Their father gave them estates together with their brothers. Afterward, Job lived one hundred and forty years to see four generations of children and grandchildren. So Job died old and contented.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this text?
If nothing is impossible, what is possible?
What does it mean to be dust and ashes?
How much money did they give? What does the book of Job say about suffering?
Why is Job's Daughter's appearances important?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: in 2018 two hundred Iowans take part in a Jericho Walk around the Federal Building in Des Moines in support of immigrants and in opposition to the unjust immigration system.
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
46They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his chosen family and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Descendant of David, have mercy on me!”

48Many sternly ordered Bartimaeus to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Descendant of David, have mercy on me!”

49Jesus stood still and said, “Call that one here.”

And they called the blind one, saying to Bartimaeus, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

51Then Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind one said to Jesus, “My teacher, let me see again.”

52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus regained his sight and followed Jesus on the way.

Queeries for the text:
What else happened in Jericho?
Why is Jesus named the Descendant of David?
Who do we order to be quiet?
What do we throw off to encounter Jesus?
Why did Jesus ask Bartimaeus what he wanted?
What makes us well?

What are your queeries?


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Queerying 21st after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
35James and John, called the sons of Thunder, whose father was Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”

36And Jesus said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

39They replied, “We are able.”

Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must serve you, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must become enslaved to all. 45For the Human One came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What would you ask of Jesus?
What cup does Jesus drink? With what baptism is Jesus baptized?
Who overestimates their ability?
Who is great today?
Who offers a ransom?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Queerying 20th after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a rocky beach scene has white text superimposed with Barack Obama's quote "There is no individual salvation without collective salvation."
Gospel: Mark 10:17-31
17As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?”

18Jesus said to the rich man, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not take another's life; you shall not harm your romantic and sexual partners through non-consensual infidelity; you shall not take what you did not earn; you shall not manipulate the truth to harm others; you shall not misrepresent yourself to others; honor your caregivers as they're instructed to honor you.’”

20The rich man said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.”

21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22When the rich man heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23Then Jesus looked around and said to his chosen family, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the reign of God!” 24And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the reign of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the reign of God.”

26They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?”

27Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

28Peter began to say to Jesus, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

29Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or siblings or parents or caregivers or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, siblings, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come everlasting life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Queeries for the text:
What do people inherit?
Which commandments are these? In what order?
What does it mean to honor another?
How do we gain treasure today?
How is grief connected to action? What did the rich man end up doing?
Who has wealth today?
Upon whom does salvation rely on?
What must we leave to follow Jesus?
Who has to balance family and persecution

What are your queeries?