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?

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Queerying 19th after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

How does dealing with the past help to move into the future?

How can scripture strengthen against injustice?

How does proof-texting justify harm?

How do you persist for justice?  How does justice persist against you?


Pace Warfield-May queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: Mr. DNA from the film Jurassic Park points to himself against a blue background.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 31:27-34
27The days are surely coming, says the Becoming One, when I will plant seeds of humans and animals in the two houses of my people, the houses of Israel and Judah.

28And just as I've tended over them to pluck, break down, overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will continue to tend over them to build up and to plant, says the Becoming One.

29In those days there will no longer be the saying, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, or the children must have the bad karma of their parents" 30Rather, all shall die for their own harm, the bad apples will remain in the rotten tree that sprouted them."

31 The days are surely coming, says the Becoming One, when I will make a new covenant, a new unbreakable promise, with the houses of Israel and Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I, like a gentle lover, held them by their hand to guide them out of the land of Egypt--a promise that they broke, though I was and remain their committed partner, says the Becoming One. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Becoming One: I will write my law within them, bind it to their DNA, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be God, their beloved, and they shall be my people, my beloveds. 34No longer shall they have to teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Becoming One" for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Becoming One; for I will wipe away the barriers that separate them, and remember their harm no more."'

Queeries for the text:
What is the context for this passage?
What is karma?
What would this day to come look like?
What else is written in our DNA?
How does one cheat on God?
What does it mean for God to be your beloved partner?
What barriers separate us from one another?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo by Paul Newson shows Adnan Syed walking out of a Baltimore courthouse free from incarceration for the first time in decades.
Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told his chosen family a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to the judge and saying, ‘Avenge me against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused; but later the judge said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps coming at me, I will avenge her, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6And the Leader said, “Listen to what the corrupt judge says. 7And will not God avenge her favorites who cry to her day and night? Will she delay long in having patience with them? 8I tell you, she will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Human One comes, will they find faith on earth?”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
Whose heart is being lost?
What do judges do?
Who neither fears God nor respects people?
Who annoys the powerful?
What happens when you continually come?
What is justice? Who cries to whom for justice? 

What are your queeries?


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 106

ID: the cover of We Charge Genocide is alongside a cutout with the information for Queerying The Text, Narrative Lectionary 106 October 16, 2022. At the bottom right is branding information for
River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Joshua 24:1-15
Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned Israel’s elders and commanders, magistrates and officers; and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people, “Thus said the Becoming One, the God of Israel: In past times, your ancestors—Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods.
But I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and led him through the whole land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac, and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir as his possession, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with the wonders that I wrought in their midst, after which I freed you— I freed your ancestors—from Egypt, and you came to the sea. But the Egyptians pursued your ancestors to the Sea of Reeds with chariots and horses. Your ancestors cried out to the Becoming One, and Xe put darkness between you and the Egyptians; then Xe brought the sea upon the Egyptians, and it covered them. Your own eyes saw what I did to the Egyptians.

“After you had lived a long time in the wilderness, I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan. They battled you, but I delivered them into your hands; I annihilated them for you, and you took possession of their land. Then Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, made preparations to attack Israel. He sent for Balaam son of Beor to curse you, but I refused to listen to Balaam; he had to bless you, and thus I saved you from him.

“Then you crossed the Jordan and you came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho and the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites fought you, but I delivered them into your hands. I sent a plague ahead of you, and it drove them out before you just like the two Amorite kings—not by your sword or by your bow. I have given you a land for which you did not labor and towns which you did not build, and you have settled in them; you are enjoying vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.

“Now, therefore, revere the Becoming One and serve Xyr with undivided loyalty; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the Becoming One. Or, if you are loath to serve the Becoming One, choose this day which ones you are going to serve—the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or those of the Amorites in whose land you are settled; but I and my household will serve the Becoming One.”

Queeries for the text:
What is this building on?
What is the companion text?
Where is this headed?
Who is missing from this text?
Who are the other gods that we serve?
How is darkness holy?
What does it mean to annihilate a people?
What must be done with the land stolen by God?
Where are other gods treated more favorably?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 105

ID: a stained glass window with the ten commandments depicted on stone tablets in the center. On the right, in a red box, is the following text: "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - October 9 2022 / Covenant and Commandments / Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17" with the logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary reading.

Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17
19:3Then Moses went up to God; the Becoming One called to him from the mountain: “This you shall share with all the descendants of Jacob, the entire nation of Israelites: 4'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles' wings to safety, to myself. 5Dear ones, if you listen to what I am saying and keep our covenant, you will be dearly treasured, my most prized keepsake, out of all the peoples. Yes, the entire earth is mine, 6but you shall be for me a people made of priests and a sacred nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites."

7So Moses went to the elders of the people, summoned them, and set before them all the words that the Becoming One had told him to share.


20:1Then God spoke all these words,
2I am the Becoming One, your God, who brought you to safety out of the land of Egypt, who freed you from the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before me.
4You shall not make an idol for yourself, whether it is in the shape or form of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth below or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to the idols or serve them, for I am the Becoming One, your God, and am a jealous God, who will revisit the inequities of those who hate me to their children up to the third and the fourth generation, 6but I will show steadfast, enduring love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and who keep my commandments.
7"You shall not use the name of the Becoming One, your God, in wrong or harmful ways, for the Becoming One will not let anyone go free who misuses my name.
8"Remember the Sabbath day, the day of rest, and keep it holy. 9Six days you have to labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a day of rest to the Becoming One, your God. You shall not do any work nor ask or require anyone else to do work, whether it is your children, the people you enslaved or the people who work for you, your animals, or even the migrant workers in your towns. 11For in six days the Becoming One made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that fills them, but rested on the seventh day; therefore, the Becoming One blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as a holy day of rest.
12"Give honor to your parents so that you may live many days in peace in the land that the Becoming One is giving to you.
13"Do not kill.
14"Do not violate intimate relationships.
15"Do not steal.
16"Do not lie about or mischaracterize one another.
17"Do not long for your neighbors' house, spouse, the people they enslaved or those who work for them, animals, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor."

Queeries for the text:
What is this building on?
What is missing?
What is the companion text?
Where is this headed?
Who do these commandments protect? What communities are left out of the commandments' protection?
How were the ten commandments originally understood?
How do we tell the truth?
What counts as murder?

What are your queeries?

Queerying 18th after Pentecost C

Suzannah Porter and Brooke McLain musically queery the RCL readings.

How do you build community in a dumpster fire? 

What makes you glad to be alive?

What priorities get lost when your focus zooms in too close?

What have you learned from times when you have needed God to take the wheel?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: the background shows the setting for Former President George W. Bush's speech implying that the mission was accomplished in Iraq.  In the foreground, President Biden is visible from his 60 Minutes interview in which he stated, "the pandemic is over" and over his left shoulder is a COVID molecule saying "hi, still here"
Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Commander, have mercy on us!”

14When he saw them, Jesus said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean.

15Then one of them, when they saw that they were healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16They prostrated themself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And they were a Samaritan.

17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then Jesus said to them, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Queeries for the text:
What is between Samaria and Galilee?
What is leprosy?
To whom do we show ourselves when made clean?
What makes you turn back?
When is turning back good?
How do we classify foreigner?
How does faith heal? How doesn't it?

What are your queeries?