Mary and Martha

Mary-Martha-Lazarus.jpgBy Laurel Dykstra, on Luke 10:38-42

*Note: this Radical Discipleship classic was originally posted in July 2016.

I don’t like the story of Mary and Martha.

Most of us already know if we are more like Mary, who sits at Jesus’ feet, or more like Martha, who is distracted by her many tasks. And it seems to me that no matter how nice they try to be about it, most of the sermons and commentaries on this passage seem to say, “Yay Mary and Boo Martha” Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Remembering to listen in turbulent times

Remembering-to-Listen

Remembering to Listen, Trans Mountain Pipeline route Burnaby, BC

Proper 11(16)

Genesis 18:1-10a
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

When I first looked at these readings, it was the day when the UN High Commission on Refugees released the latest figures. “An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.” The agency also reported that “There are also millions of stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.”

Continue reading

This Baptism

Profile PhotoBy Shelby Smith

On June 8th I was baptized by my home church, the Wilderness Way Community in Portland, OR. I was asked to reflect on why I was choosing to be baptized.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”—Micah 6:8

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”—Phil 4:13

The Bible and its legacy is full of contradictions and conflicts and also beauty and strength. In 2014, when I came to Wilderness Way I found myself feeling dry and broken. That feeling was an extended phase that continued for some time. I had a relationship with God but Jesus and Christianity was completely off the table. Except the occasional times when I would pick up the Bible, read some passages—and feel disgusted or bored or confused and walk away again. I wrestled with a lot of shoulds, anger and fears. I struggled to do justice, to love kindness and the walk humbly with God. I struggled acutely with all three of these. Continue reading

Bound By Love

We The People, Delivery

Monica Lewis-Patrick and Debra Taylor leading up the ideology of the beloved community in Detroit

By Tommy Airey, on the Parable of the Good Samaritan

When the lawyer finally got face-time with Jesus, he poured out what was heaviest on his heart, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He groped for a guarantee. He wanted a divine will and testament. He was begging for a bill of rights.

As usual, Jesus pivoted on freedom. He was never much into being The Bible Answer Man. He asked the lawyer how he interpreted the sacred text. The lawyer’s answer, according to Jesus, was spot-on. Eternity’s most valuable asset has nothing to do with where we go when we die. It is a gut-busting love for both our higher power and our lowly neighbors. Right here. Right now.  Continue reading

Collapse, Part II

WolinBy Ric Hudgens

In this apocalyptic age where if the politics don’t kill you the ecology will, I am pondering a distinction made three decades ago by the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin. Wolin distinguished between a politics of intending and tending. Comparing these two modes of thinking Wolin saw one as prone to control and power and the other as a means of attention and care.*

The politics of intention requires power, as we strain toward a future that is not yet guaranteed. Continue reading

To Do Is To Know

the-good-samaritan-1907By Ched Myers, a short commentary on this weekend’s Gospel Story (Luke 10:25-37; right: “The Good Samaritan” by Paula Modersohn-Becker)

Note: This piece was originally posted on Radical Discipleship on July 7, 2016.

The famous Parable of the Good Samaritan is often sentimentalized, but its subversive character and genuine profundity can never be exhausted. It comes on the heels of Jesus’ sending out of the “seventy,” and his long “missionary discourse” (Lk 10:1-24).  How different the history of Christianity would have been had disciples in every age followed these relatively simple but incisive instructions to travel with the gospel in a vulnerable and provisional mode, rather than a dominating one! But if the unholy joining of mission and empire has been the first pillar of Christendom’s apostasy, surely the second has been the church’s tendency to define faith through dogma. It is this religious bad habit that Luke addresses in this Sunday’s parable. Continue reading

Wild Church: Plumb Lines and Prophets

processed with darktable (www.darktable.org)

Greta Thunberg by Stephane P cc

Proper 10(15) C

Amos 7:7-17

By Matthew Humphrey

“See I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people.”

So Amos prophecies in today’s lectionary reading. This shepherd-turned prophet emerges from South of the Border to unleash a fiery word upon Israel and King Jeroboam. Like Hosea before him, he professes, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a shepherd, and a dresser of sycamore-trees.” This location that makes him the choice instrument of God’s word to Israel. Continue reading