Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 119

ID: a medieval illuminated manuscript of Matthew 1, showing the "Tree of Jesse"--Jesus' family tree. A blue box on the right has the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - January 1, 2023 / The Genealogy of Jesus / Matthew 1:1-17" with the logo in the bottom right corner.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Matthew 1:1-17
1The family tree of Jesus the Anointed One, the descendent of David and Bathsheeba, and of Abraham and Sarah.

2Abraham and Sarah were the parents of Isaac, and Isaac and Rebecca the parents of Jacob, and Jacob and his wives the parents of Judah and his siblings, 3and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David.

And David and Bathsheba were the parents Solomon, 7and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his siblings, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is called the Anointed One.

17So all the generations from Abraham and Sarah to David and Bathsheeba are fourteen generations; and from David and Bathsheeba to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of the Anointed One, fourteen generations.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
What is skipped over?
Who are the women named in the genealogy? Why are so few named?
What is the importance of genealogy and ancestry?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Queerying Christmas Eve and Narrative Lectionaries 117 and 118

ID: a picture of a nativity scene with the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future crashed through the side of the wall. A yellow text box is on the right with the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - December 24-25, 2022 / Christmas Eve - The Birth of Jesus / Luke 2:1-14, [15-20] / Christmas Day - Shepherds Visit / Luke 2:8-20" with the logo in the bottom
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative and Revised Common Lectionary Gospel.

Luke 2:1-14[15–20]; Luke 2:8-20
1Emperor Augustus Caesar, known as Octavian (who reigned from 27 BCE-14 CE) made a decree throughout the entire Roman empire that everyone should be counted in a census. 2This was the first census that was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Quirinius was governor from 6-12CE). 3All people throughout Judea went to their towns to be registered for the census. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went there to be registered with his fiancee, Mary, who was pregnant. 6While in Bethlehem it came time for her to give birth to the child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in blankets and laid him in a feeding trough as there was no place for them in the upper dwelling of the family home.

8As Bethlehem was rural, it was surrounded by fields where shepherds would keep watch over their flock by night. 9An angel of the Becoming One suddenly stood before these shepherds, and the glory of the Becoming One shone brightly around them. The shepherds were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid. Look! I'm bringing you great news of abundant joy for you and for everyone! 11Born today in the city of David is the Anointed One, the Savior, a Master and Teacher for us all. 12This is the sign for you to know the child when you see him: you will find an infant wrapped in blankets lying in a feeding trough." 13And suddenly there was with the angel the entire multitude of the heavenly army, praising God/ess and singing,

14"Glory to God/ess throughout the cosmos,
and to all inhabitants on the planet Earth, peace for God/ess favors you!"

15When the angels had left them and returned to the ether, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Becoming One has made known to us." 16So they quickly went into the town and found Mary, Joseph, and the infant lying in the feeding trough. 17When they saw this, they told Mary, Joseph, and everyone they encountered what had been told to them about the infant. 18All who heard the news were amazed at what the shepherds had told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them deeply in her heart. 20The shepherds returned to the fields, glorifying, singing, and praising God/ess for all they had experienced, as it had been told to them.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this going?
How are censuses used for harm? How are they used for good?
How is God's glory experienced throughout the cosmos?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Queerying Advent 4A and Narrative Lectionary 116

ID: a hand drawn meme of a biblically accurate angel facing a person.  The gray cutout reads: Narrative Lectionary/Year 1 - December 18 2022/Jesus as Immanuel/Matthew 1:18-25 with the logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative and Revised Common Lectionary Gospel.

Matthew 1:18-25
18Now the birth of Jesus, the Anointed One, took place in this way: when Jesus' mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, she was found to be with child (from the Holy Spirit). This was before they lived together or had sexual relations. 19Mary's husband, Joseph, was self-righteous and unwilling to expose himself or Mary to public disgrace, so he decided to break off the engagement quietly. 20But just as he had decided to do this on his own, an angel of the Becoming One appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, scion to David, do not be afraid. Take Mary as your wife, for the fetus within her was conceived through the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you both are to name him Jesus, from the Hebrew Yehoshua for God saves, for he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Becoming One through the prophet Isaiah:

"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel (from the Hebrew for God is with us)."

24When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Becoming One had commanded him to do: he married Mary, 25but he did not have sex with her until she gave birth to the promised son, and they named him Jesus.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying Narrative Lectionary text?
Where is this headed?
How is Matthew using or misusing the Isaiah quote?
What is the importance of names?
What do dreams mean for us?
What was wrong with Joseph's 'righteous' plan?
How do you experience the promise that God is with us?

What are your queeries?

ID:  a hand drawn meme of a biblically accurate angel saying "Be not afraid." with a man responding "Sir, this is the scariest moment of my life."

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Queerying Advent 3A

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a blossoming desert.
Tanakh: Isaiah 35:1-10
The dry desert shall be glad,
The wilderness shall rejoice
And shall blossom like a rose.
It shall blossom abundantly,
It shall also exult and shout.
It shall receive the glory of Lebanon,
The splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall behold the glory of the Becoming One,
The splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are slack;
Make firm the tottering knees!
Say to the anxious of heart,
“Be strong, fear not;
Behold your God!
Requital is coming,
The recompense of God—
She Herself is coming to give you triumph.”
Then the eyes of the one who refuses to see shall be opened,
And the ears that refuse to hear shall be unstopped.
Then those who cannot walk shall leap like a deer,
And the one who cannot talk shall shout aloud;
For waters shall burst forth in the desert,
Streams in the wilderness.
Torrid earth shall become a pool;
Parched land, fountains of water;
The home of jackals, a pasture;
The abode of ostriches, reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall appear there,
Which shall be called the Sacred Way.
No one unclean shall pass along it,
But it shall be for them.
No traveler, not even the directionally challenged, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
No ferocious beast shall set foot on it—
These shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk it;
And the ransomed of the Becoming One shall return,
And come with shouting to Zion,
Crowned with joy everlasting.
They shall attain joy and gladness,
While sorrow and sighing flee.

Queeries for the text:
What is the opposite of dry?
How do we make firm tottering knees?
Where is the Sacred Way?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash shows the profile angle of this male seahorse, revealing his big belly, full of baby seahorses.
Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11
2When John heard during his incarceration what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his chosen family 3and said to Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

4Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you witness: 5the blind receive guidance, places are made accessible for the lame who use assistive devices, healthcare is free as the lepers are cleansed, the Deaf are respected in language and culture, the dead are raised, and the poor have money, support, and opportunity brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John:
“What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?
A reed shaken by the wind?
8What then did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in soft robes?
Look, those who wear soft robes are in mansions and penthouses.
9What then did you go out to see?
A prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the reign of heaven is greater than he.

Queeries for the text:
Why was John incarcerated?
Who are you waiting for?
How has Jesus' call to community and accessibility been used for harm?
At whom do you take offense?
Who wears soft robes today?
Who is soft?
How can a person be more than a prophet?
Where is it written?
Who is greater? Who desires greatness?

What are your queeries?

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 115

ID: a grey brick lighthouse with a copper roof against an overcast sky and bluegreen ocean. A giant wave crashes around the lighthouse, looking almost as if it will engulf the entire structure. A green bar is on the right side of the image that reads: "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1-December 11 2022/A Light to the Nations/Isaiah 42:1-9" with the logo in the bottom right corner.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Isaiah 42:1-9
1Yo, look! It's my servant that I hand picked!
My chosen servant, in whom I find deep joy;
I have put my spirit upon her;
She will inspire and bring justice to all nations.

2She will not cry out or shout
Or try to call attention to herself in the streets!
3She will not even break a twig that's barely hanging on to the branch,
and she will not put out even the faintest flame on the wick:
She will faithfully bring forth justice.
4But neither will she grow faint or be crushed
until she has established justice in all corners of the earth;
and the coastal areas will wait upon her teaching.
5Thus says God/ess, the Becoming One,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6I am the Becoming One, I have called you in righteousness;
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as an unfailing, everlasting promise to the people,
a lighthouse for all nations to sail and navigate safely by,
7to bring wholeness and healing to those broken or in need,
to set the prisoners free, just and unjustly imprisoned alike,
for all prisons are unholy and broken.
8I am the Becoming One, that is my name;
my glory is mine alone,
no idols deserve the praise belonging to me.
9See, the old ways have died,
"a new, more glorious dawn awaits,"
before the sun rises on this dawn,
I am telling you of the wonderful things to come.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying text?
Where is this headed?
What does a "new, more glorious dawn" entail?
Who is the suffering servant?
What needs to die in order to give birth to new life?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Queerying Advent 2A

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a glass of water is pictured with the earth floating inside it and the Atlantic Ocean facing out..
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
In those days John the Baptizer appeared in the wild sparseness of Judea, proclaiming, 2“Turn around, for the reign of heaven has come near.” 3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when saying, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Becoming One, make Her paths queerly accessible.’” 4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to John, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins and separation. 7But when John saw many religious leaders of all political perspectives coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit showing you're changing your mind. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. This one will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12The winnowing fork is in hand, and this one will clear the threshing floor and will gather the wheat into the granary; but the chaff will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Queeries for the text:
Who else appears in the wild sparseness?
What nourishment do locusts and wild honey provide?
What sins do we have to confess at rivers and waterways?
Who else is cussed at?
When else are stones anthropomorphized?
What does fire do?
Is it better to be eaten or burned?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 114

ID: the Coronation of Queen Esther from the 1617 Scroll of Esther from Ferrara, Italy. On the right side there is a tan box that has the following text: "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1 - December 4 2022/Esther/Esther 4:1-17" with the logo in the bottom right corner.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Esther 4:1-17
1When Mordecai learned all that had been done--King Xerxes and the noble person Hamman had decided to kill the Jewish people because Mordecai, who was Jewish himself, was not paying appropriate tribute to Hamman--Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, as you do, and went through the city, crying, wailing, and weeping bitterly. 2He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate half naked like he was, donned only in his sackcloth 3In every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree about sending the Jewish people to death came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

4Esther's handmaidens and castrated servants came and told her what was going on with Mordecai half naked outside the gate. The queen was deeply distressed; she sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth and be able to enter the king's gate; but he would not accept them. 5Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s castrated servants who had been appointed to serve her, and Esther ordered them to go to Mordecai to learn what was happening and why. 6Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate, 7and Mordecai told them all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jewish people. 8Mordecai also gave them a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for the destruction of the Jewish people so that Hathach might show it to Esther, explain it to her, and charge her to go to the king to make supplication to him and hopefully get him to change his mind on behalf of her people.

9Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. 10Then Esther spoke to Hathach and told them to reply to Mordecai with the following: 11"Everyone knows, from the king's slaves to the nobility, that if anyone goes to the king inside the inner court without being summoned by him, there is but one law—all are to be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to someone, may that person live. I myself have not been called to come into the king's chamber for a month." 12When they told Mordecai what Esther had said, 13Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, "Even in the king's palace and as his wife, don't think you will have a better chance of escaping his genocide than the rest of the Jewish people. 14For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will still rise up for the Jews from another path, but you and your extended family will still perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come into your place as queen in the palace for just such a time as this." 15Then Esther replied to Mordecai, 16"Go, gather all the Jewish people to be found in Susa and hold a fast on my behalf. Do not eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my servants will also fast as you do. After those three days have passed, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law; and if I am murdered, I am murdered. So be it." 17Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had requested of him.

Queeries for the text:
What is this text building on?
What is the accompanying reading?
Where is this text headed?
Who was Esther?
What are different models of leadership? What makes a good leader?
How can you be an ally to a marginalized and/or oppressed group with your power?
What is genocide?
What can you do in such a time as this?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Queerying Narative Lectionary 113

ID: a scene from the 2007 film "Sunshine" where a character stands in silhouette against the backdrop of the brightness of the sun. The following text is in a box to the right of the image: "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1 - November 27, 2022/Faith as a Way of Life/Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19" followed by the logo
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19
1:1The message that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

Habakkuk's request to God:
2Hey Becoming One, how long shall I beg for help,
and you won't listen to me?
Or like cry out to you "Look at this violence!"
and you will not bring salvation?
3Why do you make me see all these awful things, all this suffering
and make me look at trouble?
Destruction, devastation, and violence are all before me;
turmoil, violent divisions, keep arising.
4So the laws meant to protect people are ignored
and justice never prevails.
The wicked, the oppressors, the evil surround the righteous–
therefore judgment, what little there is, comes forth broken and incomplete.
God's response to the prophet:
5Look at all of the nations and see what is happening!
Be astonished! Be astounded!
For a work is being done right now in your very lifetime
that you would not believe is happening even if you were told.
6For I am rousing the Chaldeans from their slumber,
that fierce and anxious nation,
who march through the entirety of the known earth
to seize and colonize lands that are not their own.
7Indeed, they bring dread and fear wherever they go;
they put the law into their own hands and bring honor only to themselves.

Habakkuk responded:
2:1I will stand at my watch-post,
and keep watch on the ramparts;
I will keep watch to see what Shee will say to me,
and what She will answer concerning my complaint.
2Then the Becoming One answered me and said:
Write this vision down,
meme-ify it and post it to the socials
so that anyone even scrolling through their feeds will be able to read it.
3For there is still a vision for the time to come that I have appointed
it speaks of the end of all things and it does not lie.
Even if it seems like the appointed time is forever away, wait for it anyway;
it will surely come, I promise. It will not be delayed.
4Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right within them,
but the righteous live by their faith.

[3:3bGod's glory covered the cosmos,
and the ground beneath us was full of Her praise.
4The brightness was so bright, it was like the surface of the sun;
rays of sunlight came forth from the Becoming One's hand,
where Her power lay hidden behind the light.
5Before the Becoming One went out a plague,
and in Her footsteps was left a pandemic.
6She stopped and Her stopping shook the entire earth;
with one look all the peoples of all the nations trembled in fear.
The tallest mountains were shattered;
along the ancient pathways,
the everlasting hills sank to the ground.]

17Though the fig tree is not in bloom,
and there are no fruit on the vines;
though the olive trees aren't bringing forth olives
and the fields aren't giving forth food;
though the flock appears lost and cut off from the herd
and there are no animals in the stalls,
18I will still rejoice in the Becoming one;
I will find joy in the God/ess of my salvation.
19God/ess, the Becoming One, is my strength;
She makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and allows me to tread upon the cliffs with no fear of falling.

To the leader: with stringed instruments.

Queeries for the text: What is this building on?
What is missing from this passage?
What is the companion text?
Where is this headed?
What does it mean to put the law into your own hands?
How does one watch and wait for the divine?
Why does a pandemic follow in the footsteps of the divine?
How bright is the light of the sun?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 111

ID: Evgeniy Vuchetich's "Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares" sculpture at the United Nations headquarters in New York. To the right of the image is a green box with the following text: "Narrative Lectionary/Year 1-November 20 2022/Swords into Plowshares/Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7, Isaiah 2:1-4" followed by the logo.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary readings.

Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7; then Isaiah 2:1-4
36:1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria rose up against all the defended cities of Judah and captured them all. 2The king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish with a massive army to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. He stood waiting by an entry to the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 3And Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, all came out to him.


13Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, ‘Hear the words of the great king of Assyria! 14Thus says the king: “Do not let your lowly King Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the Becoming One by saying, The Becoming One will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 15Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: “Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will be free to eat the fruits of your labor and till your own land and drink your own water, 17until I colonize your land and take you instead to a land like your own land, but my land, but do not worry, it will still be abundant in fruit and fields and water. 18Do not let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, the Becoming One will save us. Have any of the gods of the other nations I've colonized saved their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20Who among all the gods of these countries have saved their countries and kept them out of my hand, that the Becoming One you worship should save Jerusalem out of my hand?”’


37:1When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Becoming One, (which was a thing people apparently did in this time period to show humility before the Becoming One, like, this wasn't just Hezekiah having strange vibes). And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, all of them covered with their matching sackcloth aesthetic, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3They said to him, ‘Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children are about to be born, and yet there is no strength leftover to raise them. 4It may be that the Becoming One the Divine heard the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Becoming One the Divine has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’
5When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them, ‘Say to your master, “Thus says the Becoming One: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7I myself will put a defeating spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and while there, I will cause him to be taken out by the sword in his own land.”’


2:1The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

2In the days to come
the mountain of the Becoming One's house
shall be made to be the highest of all the mountains
and shall be raised above the hills,
and all the nations shall be like a river running toward it.

3Many people will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Becoming One,
to the house of the God of Jacob, Rebecca, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah,
that Xe may teach us Xyr ways
and that we may journey along Xyr paths."
For the law shall flow out from Zion,
and the word of the Becoming One shall pour out from Jerusalem.

4The Divine shall judge between the nations,
and provide guidance between people for all disputes;
all people will beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation will no longer fight against nation,
and nations will learn war no more.

Queeries for the text:
What is this building on? What is missing from this passage? Why was it left out and why the strange ordering?
What is the companion text?
Where is this headed?
What does it mean for children to be born with no strength left to raise them?
How is water important for the future of Zion?
What would a future without war look like?

What are your queeries?

Queerying Reign of Christ the Queen C

Brooke McLain and Annie Porter musically queery the RCL readings.

How do you experience distance and closeness in your relationship with God?

How does God shelter us?

How does God strengthen you in difficult times?

Who are the faithful antiheroes in your life? 


River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a map of the percentage of Indigenous people in each state or province in what is now known as the united states and canada.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Ah, shepherds who let the flock of My pasture stray and scatter—declares the Becoming One. Assuredly, said the Becoming One, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who should tend My people: It is you who let My flock scatter and go astray. You gave no thought to them, but I am going to give thought to you, for your wicked acts—declares the Becoming One. And I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock from all the lands to which I have banished them, and I will bring them back to their pasture, where they shall be fertile and increase. And I will appoint over them shepherds who will tend them; they shall no longer fear or be dismayed, and none of them shall be missing—declares the Becoming One. See, a time is coming—says the Becoming One—when I will raise up a true branch of David’s line. Xe shall reign as sovereign and shall prosper, and xe shall do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah shall be delivered and Israel shall dwell secure. And this is the name by which xe shall be called: “The Becoming One is our Vindicator.”

Queeries for the text:
Where have people strayed and scattered?
What is the solution?
Who are the shepherds?
What is the true branch of David's line?
Who needs vindication?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: transgender actress and model Viviany Beleboni depicts the crucified Christ as protest during a pride event in São Paulo 7 June 2015.
Gospel: Luke 23:33-43
33When Jesus, the Roman soldiers, and the crowd came to the place that is called The Skull, the Roman soldiers crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.

34Then Jesus said, “Caregiver, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And the Roman soldiers cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders of the people scoffed at Jesus, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, the chosen one!”

36The soldiers also mocked Jesus, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over Jesus, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding Jesus and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40But the other rebuked the first, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this one has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Queeries for the text:
Where are the criminals?
How do we cast lots?
Who else is told to save themselves?
What do we inscribe over others?
What do we deserve?
Who has done nothing wrong?
Who is remembered? Who needs to be?
Who is re-membered? Who needs to be?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Queerying 23rd after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

How does God guide you through life transitions? 

How has God shown up to refresh you on your path? 

When has idleness made life difficult? 

How have some relationships been destroyed to make way for new blessings? 


River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a laughing emoji with tears of joy.
Tanakh: Isaiah 65:17-25
For behold! I am creating a new heaven and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered, they shall never come to mind. Be glad, then, and rejoice forever in what I am creating. For I shall create Jerusalem as a joy, and her people as a delight; And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in her people. Never again shall be heard there the sounds of weeping and wailing. No more shall there be an infant or graybeard who does not live out their days. She who dies at a hundred years shall be reckoned a youth, and she who fails to reach a hundred shall be reckoned accursed. They shall build houses and dwell in them, they shall plant vineyards and enjoy their fruit. They shall not build for others to dwell in, or plant for others to enjoy. For the days of My people shall be as long as the days of a tree, My chosen ones shall outlive the work of their hands. They shall not toil to no purpose; they shall not bear children for terror, but they shall be a people blessed by the Becoming One, and their offspring shall remain with them. Before they pray, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will respond. The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the serpent’s food shall be earth. In all My sacred mount nothing evil or vile shall be done.
—said the Becoming One.

Queeries for the text:
What new things are being created?
Where do we hear weeping and wailing?
What brings us joy?
How might the wolf and lamb graze together?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo from Baidax shows a dusk view of the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral on 15 April 2019.
Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
5When some of Jesus' chosen family were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, 6“As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”

7They asked Jesus, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”

8And Jesus said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am the one!’ and, ‘The divine timey wimey is near!’ Do not go after them.
9“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.”

10Then Jesus said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and dominion against dominion; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12“But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to religious communities and incarcerate you, and you will be brought before dictators and rulers because of my name. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents and siblings, by biofam and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your breath of life.

Queeries for the text:
What else is adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God?
When are stones not left upon another?
How are we led astray?
Where are the wars and insurrections?
Where are earthquakes, famines, and plagues?
Who has been handed over to religious communities and incarcerated?
How will you testify?
What words and wisdom does Jesus give?
Who is betrayed by their biofam?

What are your queeries?


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Queerying All Saints C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

Who is waiting to dance with you?

How does God transform hearts?

How do you experience God in difficult times?

Where is the tension between legacies you carry and Christ's promises? 

How are we susceptible to the normalization of oppression?


River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a human brain resting in a made bed.
Tanakh: Daniel 7:1-3,--(4-14)--15-18
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and a vision of his mind in bed; afterward he wrote down the dream. Beginning the account, Daniel related the following:
“In my vision at night, I saw the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea. Four mighty beasts different from each other emerged from the sea.
The first was like a lion but had eagles’ wings. As I looked on, its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted off the ground and set on its feet like a human and given the mind of a human. Then I saw a second, different beast, which was like a bear but raised on one side, and with three fangs in its mouth among its teeth; it was told, ‘Arise, eat much meat!’ After that, as I looked on, there was another one, like a leopard, and it had on its back four wings like those of a bird; the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

After that, as I looked on in the night vision, there was a fourth beast—fearsome, dreadful, and very powerful, with great iron teeth—that devoured and crushed, and stamped the remains with its feet. It was different from all the other beasts which had gone before it; and it had ten horns. While I was gazing upon these horns, a new little horn sprouted up among them; three of the older horns were uprooted to make room for it. There were eyes in this horn like those of a human, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.

As I looked on, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took Xyr seat. Xyr garment was like glittering snow, and the hair of Xyr head was like lamb’s wool. Xyr throne was tongues of flame; its wheels were blazing fire. A river of fire streamed forth before Xym; thousands upon thousands served Xym; myriads upon myriads attended Xym; the court sat and the books were opened.

I looked on. Then, because of the arrogant words that the horn spoke, the beast was killed as I looked on; its body was destroyed and it was consigned to the flames. The dominion of the other beasts was taken away, but an extension of life was given to them for a time and season.

As I looked on, in the night vision, one like a human being came with the clouds of heaven; she reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Xyr. Dominion, glory, and kingship were given to her; all peoples and nations of every language must serve her. Her dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and her kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was disturbed within me and the vision of my mind alarmed me. I approached one of the attendants and asked her the true meaning of all this. She gave me this interpretation of the matter:
‘These great beasts, four in number mean four empires will arise out of the earth; then holy ones of the Most High will receive the empire, and will possess the empire forever—forever and ever.’

Queeries for the text:
What brought about this vision?
Who are the four empires?
What beasts are arrogant and need to be killed?
How does snow glitter?
Who was the Ancient of Days?
How was Daniel's mind alarmed?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Luke 6:20-31
20Then Jesus looked up at his chosen family and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the reign of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Human One. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Queeries for the text:
Where are there false binaries?
How is being harmed a blessing?!
Who excludes, reviles, and defames others in Jesus' name?
Who is rich, full, and laughing?
Who is spoken well of?
How do we bless and pray for those who harm?
What happens when you strike the other cheek?
What happens when you're naked?
What if others want you to do differently?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Queerying 21st after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

How do we stand the waiting for justice in the face of so much violence?

How does God lead the way through uncertainty?

How can you lift up someone going unnoticed?

How do we need to change to be our best selves?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: A solitary Sycamore tree stands tall and full of green leaves in a grass field.
Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a ranking Empire collaborator and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, because he was going to pass that way.

5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6So Zacchaeus hurried down and was happy to welcome Jesus.

7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “Jesus has gone to be the guest of one whose work makes them a sinner.”

8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Leader, “Look, half of my possessions, Leader, I give to the poor; and when I have defrauded anyone of anything, I pay back four times as much.”

9Then Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a child of Abraham. 10For the Human One came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
Where is Jericho?
Who is short?
What is a sycamore like?
How is hospitality imposed? How is it offered?
Who grumbles?
Who is a sinner?
Who gives to the poor and repays four times as much?
What is salvation?
Who is lost?

What are your queeries?


Friday, October 21, 2022

Queerying 20th after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

How does God reassure us in the midst of difficulty?

How have you witnessed God moving mountains?

What leads us to the crown of faithfulness?

How does money connect and separate us?


River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: Lake Oroville at 29% capacity in fall of 2015.
Tanakh: Joel 2:23-32
O children of Zion, be glad,
Rejoice in the Becoming One your God.
For Xe has given you the early rain in kindness,
Now Xe makes the rain fall as formerly—
The early rain and the late—
And threshing floors shall be piled with grain,
And vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
“I will repay you for the years
Consumed by swarms and hoppers,
By grubs and locusts,
The great army I let loose against you.
And you shall eat your fill
and praise the name of the Becoming One your God
who dealt so wondrously with you—
my people shall be shamed no more.
And you shall know
That I am in the midst of Israel:
That I the Becoming One am your God
And there is no other.
And My people shall be shamed no more.”
After that,I will pour out My spirit on all flesh;
Your children of many genders shall prophesy;
Your old people shall dream dreams,
And your young ones shall see visions.
I will even pour out My spirit
Upon slaves of all genders in those days.
Before the great and terrible day of the Becoming One comes,
I will set warning signs in the sky and on earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke;
The sun shall turn into darkness
And the moon into blood.
But everyone who invokes the name of the Becoming One shall escape;
for there shall be a remnant on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
as the Becoming One promised. Anyone who invokes the Becoming One
will be among the survivors.

Queeries for the text:
What rain do we need?
Where do we need rain?
Who do we trust for provision?
Who dreams today? When do we look for visions?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy looks to the right in a scene from the movie.  At the bottom of the image reads "I, too, am extraordinarily humble."
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
9Jesus also told this riddle to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous while despising others: 10“Two people went up to the temple to pray, one a religious leader and the other an Empire collaborator.

11The religious leader, standing to himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: those who exploit others, those who are corrupt in their relationships, those who cheat, or even like this Empire collaborator. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my possessions.’

13But the Empire collaborator, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

14I tell you, on the way home, this one is justified alongside that one; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Queeries for the text:
Who trusts in themselves to be righteous?
Who despises others?
How is comparison helpful? Unhelpful?
How is gratitude called for?
How do you seek to atone for your sins?
Who justifies whom? 

What are your queeries?


Thursday, October 20, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 107

ID: photo of a protest against rape and sexual assault. Some of the prominent protest signs read "Silence is violence," "Rape is rape," and "Fuck your fake concern". A black box on the side reads "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - October 23 2022 / David and Bathsheba / 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9" with the logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary readings.

2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27; 12:1-9
1Kings often went out to battle in the spring, so King David sent Joab with his officers and all of Israel to ravage the Ammonites and besiege Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem while his army went off to fight his battles. 2Late one spring afternoon, David rose from his settee and went for a walk on the roof of the palace. While on the roof he saw a woman bathing and thought she was very beautiful. 3David sent someone to find the identity of the woman. The person reported, "This is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4So David sent messengers to bring her to him, and she came to him, and he raped her while she was in the stage of purifying herself after menstruation. Then she returned to her house. 5Bathsheba conceived; and she sent and told David, "I am pregnant."


26When Bathsheba heard Uriah, her husband, was dead, she grieved for him. 27When the official period of mourning was over, David sent and brought Bathsheba to his house and married her. She gave birth to a son.

But the Becoming One saw what David had done to Bathsheba and became upset, 12:1and the Becoming One sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan came to him and said, "There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had many herds of animals and many sheep, 3but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of the meager food he could provide and drink from his cup, and lie in his house, and the ewe was like a daughter to him. 4Now a traveler came to the rich man. The rich man didn't want to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, so he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him." 5David became greatly angered against the man in the story. He said to Nathan, "As the Becoming One lives, the rich man who has done this deserves to die; 6he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."

7Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Becoming One, the God/ess of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; 8I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your heart, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if all of that had still been too little, I would have added as much more. 9Why have you despised the word of the Becoming One, to do what is evil in my sight? You have purposefully caused Uriah the Hittite to be struck down with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.


Psalm 51:1-9
To the leader. A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had raped Bathsheba.
1Have mercy on me, O divine one,
as your love is steadfast
and your mercy overflows in abundance
erase the harm I've done.
2Bathe me so that my inequity may be washed away,
and cleanse me from the harm I've done.

3For I know my transgressions,
and my harm is ever before me.
4Against you, you alone, have I caused harm,
and I have done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your punishment
and without blame when you pass judgment on me.
5Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6You long for a truthful heart,
so teach me wisdom in my deepest, most secret part of me.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Look away from the harm I've done,
and erase my inequities.

Queeries for the text:
What is this building on?
What is missing from this passage? Why was it left out?
What is the companion text?
Where is this headed?
Who has agency in this story?
What makes sex consensual?
Who did David commit sin against?
What is holy about blackness? What is sinful about whiteness?

What are your queeries?