Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Queerying 16th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.


Tanakh: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Becoming One in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the prison compound attached to the palace of the king of Judah. For King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him,
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Jeremiah said: The word of the Becoming One came to me:
Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you and say,
“Buy my land in Anathoth, for you are next in succession to redeem it by purchase.”
And just as the Becoming One had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the prison compound and said to me,
“Please buy my land in Anathoth, in the territory of Benjamin; for the right of succession is yours, and you have the duty of redemption. Buy it.”
Then I knew that it was indeed the word of the Becoming One. So I bought the land in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver.I wrote a deed, sealed it, and had it witnessed; and I weighed out the silver on a balance. I took the deed of purchase, the sealed text and the open one according to rule and law, and gave the deed to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah in the presence of my kinsman Hanamel, of the witnesses who were named in the deed, and all the Judeans who were sitting in the prison compound.  In their presence I charged Baruch as follows:
Thus said the Ruler of Angel Armies, the God of Israel: “Take these documents, this deed of purchase, the sealed text and the open one, and put them into an earthen jar, so that they may last a long time.”
For thus said the God of Angel Armies, the God of Israel: “Houses, fields, and vineyards shall again be purchased in this land.”

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this reading?
When did this happen? What did the world look like?
Who is confined?
Where is Anathoth?
When can prisoners buy and sell today?
How long do earthen jars last?
When were houses, fields and vineyards again purchased in the land? Who remained in the land?

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Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.


Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said:
19“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.

22The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.

24He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’

27He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

29Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’

30He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

31He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skipWhy?
What is with Jesus and all the rich folks?!
What's so great about purple?
What does the name Lazarus mean? Why is the name important?
What impact do dogs have?
Why does the rich man still think he can get what he wants?
Is the after life zero-sum?
What will it take for true repentance from evil?

What are your queeries?



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Queerying 15th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.


Tanakh: Jeremiah 8:18-8:23(9:1)

When in grief I would seek comfort, my heart is sick within me.
“Is not the Becoming One in Zion? Is not her Majesty within her?
 Why then did they anger me with their images, with alien futilities?”
Hark! The outcry of my poor people from the land far and wide:
“Harvest is past, summer is gone, and we have not been saved.”
Because my people are shattered I am shattered;
I am dejected, seized by desolation.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Can no physician be found?
Why has healing not yet come to my poor people?
Oh, that my head were water, my eyes a fount of tears! Then would I weep day and night for the slain of my poor people.

Queeries for the text:
What do we grieve?
How do we find comfort?
What makes our heart sick?
What is Zion?
What do we need to be saved from? Who will save us?
How are people shattered?
Where does Gilead show up?
Who are the slain of my poor people?

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Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.


Gospel: Luke16:1-13

Then Jesus said to the disciples,
“There was a rich man who had a manager,
and charges were brought to him
that the manager was squandering his property.
2So the rich man summoned her and said to her,
‘What is this that I hear about you?
Give me an accounting of your management,
because you cannot be my manager any longer.’
3Then the manager said to herself,
‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.
4I have decided what to do so that,
when I am dismissed as manager,
people may welcome me into their homes.’
5So, summoning her master’s debtors one by one, she asked the first,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
6Ze answered,
‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’
She said to zim,
‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’
7Then she asked another,
‘And how much do you owe?’
Fae replied,
‘A hundred containers of wheat.’
She said to faer,
‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’
8And her master commended the dishonest manager
because she had acted shrewdly;
for the children of this age are more shrewd
in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth
so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the everlasting homes.
10“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much;
and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
11If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth,
who will entrust to you the true riches?
12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is your own?
13No slave can serve two masters;
for a slave will either hate the one and love the other,
or be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
How does gender change how we read this?
What kind of manager was this?
How is divide and conquer at work?
How does this manager resist the divide and conquer mentality?
How big is the difference between what is owed and what was borrowed?
What does it mean to act shrew(d)ly?
How does Jesus evaluate and value wealth?
What master do I serve?

What are your queeries?



Friday, September 13, 2019

Queerying 14th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.


Tanakh: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
At that time, it shall be said concerning this people and Jerusalem:
The conduct of my poor people is like searing wind from the bare heights of the desert—
It will not serve to winnow or to fan. A full blast from them comes against me: Now I, in turn, will bring charges against them.
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For my people are stupid, they give me no heed; they are foolish children,  they are not intelligent. they are clever at doing wrong and unable to do right. I look at the earth, it is unformed and void; at the skies, their light is gone. I look at the mountains, they are quaking, and all the hills are rocking. I look: no human is left, and all the birds of the sky have fled. I look: the farmland is desert, and all its towns are in ruin√≥ Because of the Becoming One, because of zir blazing anger. For thus said the Becoming One: the whole land shall be desolate, but I will not make an end of it. For this the earth mourns, and skies are dark above√≥ because I have spoken, I have planned, and I will not relent or turn back from it.

Queeries for the text:
Where is the heat coming from? Why is it the humans' fault?
What charges might God bring against humans today?
What is missing from the assigned text?
Is the speaker justified in using ableist slurs? Why or why not?
Where else are white humans unable to do right?
What does it mean to be unformed and void?
Where did the humans go?

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Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

https://www.facebook.com/revisedComicLectionary/posts/1883524521922062:0

Gospel: Luke 15:1-10
Now all the tax collectors and "those people"
were coming near to listen to Jesus.
2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying,
“This fellow welcomes 'those people' and eats with them.”
3So Jesus told them this parable:
4“Which one of you,
having a hundred sheep and losing one of them,
does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness
and go after the one that is lost until you find it?
5When you have found it,
you lay it on your shoulders and rejoice.
6And when you come home,
you call together your friends and neighbors, saying to them,
‘Rejoice with me,
for I have found my sheep that was lost.’
7Just so, I tell you,
there will be more joy in heaven over one of 'those people' who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
8“Or what woman having ten silver coins,
if she loses one of them,
does not light a lamp,
sweep the house,
and search carefully until she finds it?
9When she has found it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying,
‘Rejoice with me,
for I have found the coin that I had lost.’
10Just so, I tell you,
there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one of 'those people' who repents.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?  What does the RCL have against salt?
What kind of nonsense is leaving 99 perfectly good sheep to find the one sheep that might already be killed and eaten?
Why would you throw a party costing more than the lost sheep?
Did the sheep repent? Or was it the shepherd?  Can sheep repent?  Can coins?
How much is a silver coin worth?  Who would search for the lost?
How do you lose one coin out of ten?
Why spend the found coin—and perhaps more—on a party?
How do we anthropomorphize what is not human or not alive?
Who is lost?  How?

What are your queeries?



Monday, September 2, 2019

Queerying 13th after Pentecost C

Periodic queerier, River Needham, queeries the Tanakh reading.


Tanakh: Jeremiah 18:1-11
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Becoming One:
“Go down to the house of a potter, and there I will impart my words to you.”
So I went down to the house of a potter, and found her working at the wheel. And if the vessel she was making was spoiled, as happens to clay in the potter’s hands, she would make it into another vessel, such as the potter saw fit to make.
Then the word of the Becoming One came to me:
O House of Israel, can I not deal with you like this potter?—says the Becoming One. Just like clay in the hands of the potter, so are you in My hands, O House of Israel! At one moment I may decree that a nation or a kingdom shall be uprooted and pulled down and destroyed; but if that nation against which I made the decree turns back from its wickedness, I change my mind concerning the punishment I planned to bring on it. At another moment I may decree that a nation or a kingdom shall be built and planted; but if it does what is displeasing to me and does not obey me, then I change my mind concerning the good I planned to bestow upon it. And now, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus said the Becoming One: I am devising disaster for you and laying plans against you. Turn back, each of you, from your wicked ways, and mend your ways and your actions!

Queeries for the text:
Where else do potters show up in the Tanakh?
How do you make pottery?
How was pottery used during this time period?
Where else does God change hir mind?
Where today do we hear the message that change is possible?
How can we (white u.s.ians) repent of our past ways?
What do we (white u.s.ians) need to repent of in our ways and actions?

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Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

https://www.genopro.com/genogram/examples/

Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
25Now large crowds were traveling with Jesus;
and he turned and said to them,
26“Whoever comes to me
and does not hate parents of all genders,
spouse and children,
siblings of any gender,
yes, and even life itself,
cannot be my disciple.
27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me
cannot be my disciple.
28For which of you,
intending to build a tower,
does not first sit down and estimate the cost,
to see whether you have enough to complete it?
29Otherwise, when you have laid a foundation
and are not able to finish,
all who see it will begin to ridicule you, 30saying,
‘This person began to build and was not able to finish.’
31Or what king,
going out to wage war against another king,
will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand
to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32If he cannot,
then, while the other is still far away,
he sends a delegation
and asks for the terms of peace.
33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple
if you do not give up all your possessions.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What does it mean to hate family?
What about Christian Family Values™?
What does it mean to carry the cross?  What does it not mean to carry the cross?
What happens when tariffs are imposed mid-build?
What is being built now?  Will it be finished?
What about seeking peace if we have the 20,000?
Is Jesus a socialist?
What can happen when you don't finish?


What are your queeries?