Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Queerying Easter 7C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.
ID: the cover of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, a memoir by Harriet Jacobs of her life in and escaping from slavery.
Acts 16:16-34
16One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met an enslaved girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her enslavers a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 18She kept doing this for many days.

But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

19But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the officers, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jewish 21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” 22The crowd joined in attacking them, and the officers had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25About midnight Paul and Silas were holding vigil, praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

26Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.

27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he assumed that the prisoners had escaped.

28But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”

29The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31They answered, “Believe on the Lover Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32They spoke the word of the Lover to him and to all who were in his house. 33At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34The jailer brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

Queeries for the text:
Where are they?
[When] do owners work?
Why was Paul annoyed at truth-telling?
What happened to the girl after this?
How does faith disturb empire?
Who else did Roman authorities flog?
What happens when jailed?
How do we keep vigil?
What happens when incarceration is unnecessary?
When despairing, what can we do besides un-aliving ourselves?
What do jailers need saving from?
Which word of the Lover did they speak?
How does faith humanize? How does faith dehumanize?


J. Pace Warfield-May queeries the reading from Revelation.
ID: a photo of Venus, the morning star, over a brightly lit city as dawn appears on the horizon. Photo by Jeremy Miller
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
“Holy shit, y’all: I am coming soon and my reward is with me, to give the reward away according to everyone’s work. 13I am the A and the Z, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.

16“It’s me, Jesus, who has sent my angel to testify to y’all these things in the churches. I am the source and the descendent of David, the radiant morning star.

17The Spirit and her fiancĂ© say, “Come,”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come,”
And let everyone who is parched come.
Let anyone who wishes to take the water of life have free and unlimited access.

20The one who testifies to these things say, “Surely I am coming soon.” Truly– Come, Lover Jesus. 21The grace of our Lover, Jesus the Anointed One, be with all those who have been set apart, the holy. Amen.

Queeries for the text:

What is missing from this text?
What is the importance of a morning star?
Why are those who wash their robes blessed?
What does it mean to testify?
Who is the Spirit’s fiancĂ©?

What are your queeries?

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