Wild Lectionary: Agency, Age, and Attentiveness to Power

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Photo from Salal and Cedar

Proper 16 C
Jeremiah 1:4-10

By Rachael Bullock

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Continue reading

The Clothier’s work

By Keith DavenportBy Ken Sehested,

We are free to act boldly because we are safe.
We are safe because we are at rest.
We are at rest because we have been forgiven.
We are forgiven because we have come to know that the Spirit meets us in our weakness, not our strength.
And in the strength of our weakness we find our security; fear’s fierce grip loosens,
freeing us to act boldly.
Such is the journey, ever onward.
By the Clothier’s hand are we fitted with garments apropos for the Fiesta to come!
So rise up, you pilgrims, whether hale and hearty or flustered and weary.
Be clothed with the sun and with power from on high, robed in righteousness,
shod in the Gospel of Peace.
Round up your rowdy friends,
but especially the lame and all with no claim on the Bountiful Table.
The Banquet beckons.
Your Host awaits.

inspired by Rev 12:1; Luke 14:13, 24:49; Ps 139:2, Eph 6:15

Come the Dawn

OzBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

*Note: this is the third installment of poems from Professor Cole-Arnal’s recent memoir work. “Come the Dawn” was written in Feb 1981, shortly after almost succumbing to an illicit affair in France during May-June (1980). These words mark his attempt to remember his marital promises and his continual love for wife Marian (“Bunny”). It is also critical to remember that this poetry included a third party: his therapist Andy Coppolino with whom they were wrestling with his nocturnal dreams.

A howl of pain piercing the night,
Wide awake, the only sound a heartbeat,
The discovery of mortality, alone, deeply alone,
Wrapped in darkness and afraid

–Before the dawn. Continue reading

Conjoined Twins

ibram-kendi--credit-jeff-watts-american-universityFrom author and professor Ibram X. Kendi’s recent interview on DemocracyNow (August 13, 2019). Kendi’s new book is called How To Be An Antiracist.

I classify racism and capitalism as these conjoined twins — right? — from the same body but different personalities, different faces. And the reason why I do that is because I’m an historian. And so I track, particularly in my last book — the origins of racism cannot be separated from the origins of capitalism. The origins of capitalism cannot be separated from the origins of racism. The life of racism cannot be separated from the life of capitalism, and vice versa. Continue reading

A Moral Reckoning

PPCFrom The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (August 8, 2019).

If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
Jeremiah 7:5-8

One week ago, we were in El Paso at the invitation of the Border Network for Human Rights to highlight the violence that their community has been suffering. We heard stories of families separated, asylum seekers turned away and refugees detained like prisoners of war. We heard how their community has been militarized and how poor border communities have been especially targeted. We promised that we would do everything in our power to compel the nation to see this violence. Just a few days later, a terrorist opened fire in El Paso. And then another attack occurred in Dayton. Continue reading

Jesus of Nazareth, Arsonist

FireBy Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson, on this Sunday’s Gospel text (Luke 12:49-56)

*Note: this piece was originally posted on RadicalDiscipleship.net during the summer of 2016.

Jesus, erstwhile proclaimer of peace and love, hopes for fire and anticipates division within households. Was the Lord having a bad day on the Way to Jerusalem in this Sunday’s Gospel? How can we reconcile his word in this week’s lectionary text (Luke 12.49-56) with what we hear in the rest of Luke’s Gospel? Continue reading