Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Queerying 8th after Pentecost C

Pace Warfield-May queeries the reading from Ecclesiastes.
ID: a word cloud of the text in shades of green against a black background. The words meaningless, sun, labor, wisdom, work, labored, teacher, and leave are the most prominent with the rest of the words of the text in small font around them.
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
1:2 Meaningless, meaningless, says the Teacher, absolutely meaningless! All is meaningless.


12I, the Teacher, when caretaker over Israel in Jerusalem, 13 applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all things under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with. 14 I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is meaningless like a paper bag blowing in the wind.


2:18I hated all my work in which I had labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me 19--and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will take over all for which I labored and worked hard on and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is meaningless.

20So I turned and gave in to deep despair concerning all the work and labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes one who has labored and studied with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all their labor to be exploited and enjoyed by another who did not work for it at all. This also is meaningless and a great evil.

22What do we mere mortals get from all the labor and strain with which we labor under the sun? 23 For all their days are full of pain and heartache, and their work is frustrating and tiresome; even at night their minds are not free to rest. This also is meaningless.

Queeries for the text:
What's missing?
What is the exploitation of labor?
What makes this exploitation meaningless and a great evil?
What causes you to feel despair?
What things feel meaningless, frustrating, or tiresome?
What can be holy and helpful about feelings of despair and meaninglessness?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: Elon Musk looks smug in front of a fleet of fancy shmancy red and white electric vehicles.
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
13Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”

14But Jesus said to them, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”

15And Jesus said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

16Then Jesus told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your possessions demanded of you your life. And the things you have hoarded, whose will they be?’
21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Queeries for the text:
Who has a family inheritance to receive?
Who judges and arbitrates?
Who has abundant possessions?
How does land produce?
Who is raising bigger barns?
What is the purpose of abundance?
Who stores food for many years?
How do possessions claim our lives?
Whose will your possessions be? 

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Queerying 7th after Pentecost C

Pace Warfield-May queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: the poster for the 2017 film Justice League with the tagline ‘You Can’t Save the World Alone’ featured prominently.
Genesis 18:20-32
20Then the Name said, "How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how serious their brokenness! I must go dwell with them and see whether they have done altogether according to the cries of the marginalized that have come to me; and if not, I will know." 22So the company turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Name.

23Then Abraham cuddled close to God and said, "Will you indeed sweep away the just with the unjust? 24Suppose there are fifty who are good within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty just who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the just with the unjust, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the cosmos do what is just?"

26And the Name said gently, "If I find at Sodom fifty who are just in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake."

Abraham answered, "Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Infinite, I who am but finite, dust and ashes.

28Suppose five of the fifty of the just are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?" And Xe said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."

29Again Abraham spoke to the Infinite, "Suppose forty are found there." Xe answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it."

30Then Abraham replied, "Oh do not let the Infinite be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there." Xe answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there."

31Abraham asked, "Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Infinite. Suppose twenty are found there." Xe answered, "For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it."

32Then he said, "Oh do not let the Infinite be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there." Xe answered gently, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it."

Queeries for the text:
Have you ever argued with God?
When has God changed Xyr mind before?
What is the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?
What does it mean to be just?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a brown eel is visible against a background of coral. Photo by Johnny Africa on Unsplash
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his chosen family said to him, “Leader, teach us to pray, as John taught his chosen family.”

2Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say something like: Mama, make your Name sacred. Enact your reign. 3Give us each day our necessary sustenance. 4And forgive us our wrongs, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the system of injustice.”

5And Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to them at midnight and say to them, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before her.’ 7And they answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the lights are out, and Stephen Colbert is already on; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though they will not get up and give em anything because em is their friend, at least because of eir persistence they will get up and give em whatever ey needs.

9“So I say to you: ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Mama give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Xem!”

Queeries for the text:
How do you pray?
Who receives their necessary sustenance?
Who is indebted?
Who is in a system of injustice?
How do you provide hospitality?
Who else is persistent?
Who asks? Who searches? Who knocks?
What expectations exist regarding prayer? How are they (un)realistic?
How could a parent give a child a snake that is a fish

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Queerying 6th after Pentecost C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: A photo from Chona Kasinger of Disabled and Here shows a slightly overhead perspective of two disabled Black people (a femme wearing compression gloves and a non-binary person in a power wheelchair) holding hands while sitting across from each other with beverages on the table in front of them..
Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
38Now as Jesus and his chosen family went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Leader’s feet and listened to what he was saying.

40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Jesus and asked, “Leader, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”

41But the Leader answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Queeries for the text:
What kind of "sisters" were they?
Who listens at Jesus' feet today?
How are you distracted?
Who provides hospitality today?
Whose labor is un(der)appreciated?
Who needs help? Who is expected to labor without recognition?
What worries and distracts you?
What is the better part?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Queerying 5th after Pentecost C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: WNBA star Brittney Griner looks sideways towards the camera with her dreads pulled back.
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
25Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” she said, “what must I do to inherit everlasting life?”

26Jesus said to her, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”

27She answered, “You shall love the Everlasting your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

28And he said to her, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

29But wanting to justify herself, she asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30Jesus replied, “A person was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped them, beat them, and went away, leaving them half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw them, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when she came to the place and saw them, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came near them; and when the Samaritan saw them, ze was moved with pity. 34Ze went to them and bandaged their wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then ze put them on zyr own animal, brought them to an inn, and took care of them. 35The next day ze took out two days' wages, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of them; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’

36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the person who fell into the hands of the robbers?”

37She said, “The one who showed them mercy.”

Jesus said to her, “Go and do likewise.”

Queeries for the text:
What do lawyers do today?
What is the law?
How do you love God and neighbor?
How do we justify ourselves?
Who is your neighbor?
Why is the road to Jerusalem so dangerous?
Who is left half dead?
How do you pass by on the other side?
Who are Samaritans?
How much is two days' wages?
Who shows mercy?
How do you go and do likewise?

What are your queeries?