Wild Lectionary: Is This Not Prayer?

image003Proper 22(27) C
2 Timothy 1:1-14

By Christina Thomson

A while back, I listened to an On Being podcast with Krista Tippett interviewing Seane Corn. The guest, Seane, is a yogi and teacher for many, as well as the focus of a little envy on my side because of her amazing locks. In the podcast, named Yoga, Meditation in Action, she tells a personal story of a way she prays that I had not considered before: a fully embodied prayer, going through sun salutations, holding grateful and positive intentions for a loved one. In that moment, she granted me words for a feeling I had experienced many times, in many places and in many ways. Continue reading

Contemplative Resistance

CPIOn November 2-3, the Center for Prophetic Imagination is offering a 2-day retreat called “Contemplative Resistance.”

In a letter to his discouraged friend Daniel Berrigan, Thomas Merton once wrote: “Do not be discouraged. The Holy Spirit is not asleep.”

It is easy to be discouraged by rampant injustices in our world today. Children in cages. Fascism on the rise. Environmental collapse looming. The list is long.

Where is the Spirit at work in this world? How do we act in ways that challenge injustice while being rooted in the presence of God? Continue reading

A Way of Love, Not a Way of Sin Remediation

A re-post from Mark Van Steenwyk, executive director of The Center for Prophetic Imagination (originally posted to social media on September 23, 2019). MVS

Sin isn’t a homogeneous substance that exists in human hearts. It isn’t a phantomous thing that can only be combated with prayer and good intentions.

The Bible doesn’t make the case that all of humanity is bad to the core and that sin is about individual human choices and that the only way to fight sin is to win people to Jesus. That story has been placed upon Scripture and, at the same time, fits so nicely within the framework of individualism and religious conservatism. Which is why it persists in the USA. Continue reading

The Rich Man and Lazarus: Warning Tale and Interpretive Key to Luke

fyodorBy Ched Myers, on Luke 16:19-31, this weekend’s Gospel text

Note: This piece was originally posted to Radical Discipleship in October 2016. As was the case last week, this is a longer post, because of the importance of Luke 16 to those of us suffering from “Affluenza.” For a recording of a recent webinar Ched did on this gospel text, go here. [Right: Fyodor Bronnikov, “Lazarus at the rich man’s gate,” 1886.]

This Sunday’s gospel completes our journey through Luke 16. How rare it is that the lectionary allows a sustained look at Luke’s narrative argument! Last week’s text was Jesus’ subversive tale of the “defect-ive” discipleship of the beleaguered middle manager of a “filthy rotten system” (16:1-13). I read it as a poignant fable for those who would try to monkey-wrench the dominant economic system to provide a modicum of Jubilee justice for themselves and others.  The “paired” story of Lazarus and the Rich Man represents, in turn, a warning tale about the dark consequences of failing to deconstruct the systems of vast social and economic disparity that hold our world hostage. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Hope in Worthless Places and Common Life

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

“Abandoned Lot at 1400 Avenue E North” by Wendy Cooper

Proper 22, Year C

By Ragan Sutterfield

A couple of weeks ago I went on a birding tour of Monterey Bay. My guide on the trip was Debra Shearwater, a legend in the bird watching world, who has guided birders through those waters for over forty years. It was her birthday and it was the last season she would be leading pelagic tours.

As we watched the shearwaters, albatrosses, and murre’s of the bay, Shearwater told us about the changes she had seen. The water, she said, has changed color over the years. The krill populations have crashed and so fewer Blue Whales are seen. Over the last nesting season, large numbers of ocean-going birds had complete nesting failures, many of them not even bothering to lay eggs. “Go see them while you can,” she said, “especially the Northern birds, they are disappearing quickly.”

Continue reading

This resurrection will likely be painful

By Bre Woligroski. This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 25, Spring 2012, The utopia issue.

Those of us wannabe revolutionaries who have been working, praying and calling out for significant social change have found some tangible positive signs lately.

Our world is shifting. Some sort of change is in the air and it makes my heart leap and stirs my soul.

Stories of resistance play on every newsfeed; on a global scale, symptoms of the collapse and the collective rejection of capitalism are becoming evident. Between the Arab Spring, the struggling economies of the U.S., Greece and Italy and the growing commitment to the Occupy movement, something is moving and changing. A new way of relating to each other is on the proverbial horizon. Continue reading

No Brady Bunch Mom: A Tribute to “Saint” Julia MacLeod

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

In Catholic parlance a saint becomes a singled out role model to emulate, but in terms of Scriptural usage the term applies to all the baptized who took on the name of Jesus the Christ. Rather than argue such a point, I would suggest that Julia MacLeod, my dear friend and mentor, whose loss we now mourn and whose life we honor, fulfills both above definitions. We have bid fond adieu to a sister who has role modeled for me what it means to love and follow Christ over against the common and easy definition of the term. Rather than define what this means in abstract terms, I choose instead to underscore her and her “hubby” George’s impact on my life and how they both shaped my Christian faith in maturing and radical ways. In other words, as feminists of the 1970s put it, “the personal is political”. This is and was Julia’s profound impact on my life. Now, on to some illustrations! Continue reading