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?

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