Wild Lectionary: Judgment and Joy

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Photo credit: Laurel Dykstra

Proper 24(29)
20th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 96

by Calvin Redekop

I love to return again to the Scriptures, to those visions seen by the prophets and apostles and singers of Israel about the “peaceful reign of God.” There is a strange concatenation of judgment and celebration in some of the Psalms, especially Psalms 96 to 99 and 104. Psalm 99 beings, “The Lord is king; let the people tremble!” In many Christian circles it is today politically incorrect to speak about God as king, as reigning, as judging, and instead God is portrayed as a morally nondiscrimination, indulgent Santa. Such and attitude represents the deliberate denial of a theme that runs through the Bible from beginning to end. “The Lord is king,” and one of the functions of a king was to be a judge, to dispense justice.

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Live by the Gun, Die By the Gun: But Can We Make Peace Living With the Gun?

RandyBy Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley (photo right),a Keetoowah Cherokee teacher, poet, activist, former pastor, missiologist and historian

*This piece was originally posted at HuffPost.

Full disclosure: I am a committed peace activist who often hunts for his food and has valid concealed carry permits recognized in 36 states. I have never been a member of the NRA.

I won’t take the time here to explain the details above except to say they are deeply held, carefully thought through convictions. Hopefully, my disclosure causes some cognitive dissonance. Because I do not believe the issue of violence in our country is going to be resolved by advocating the talking points of either extreme, it may be helpful to create a sense of disequilibrium. I believe the problem of gun violence in America can be effectively addressed by looking deeply at all perspectives and by finding meaningful and practical compromise through a renewed sense of spirituality.
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Sermon: Wedding Feast

index.jpgBy Joshua Weresch
Sunday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time

I really don’t like today’s Gospel reading about the wedding banquet, from Matthew, chapter 22, but I am going to preach on it anyway, because it’s not about what I want but about what you need. I think we both need to hear this reading because it’s hard and difficult and—like the teacher said, tongue-in-cheek, when the student asked what they were doing in class that day—we are ‘working hard and suffering greatly, because life is pain’. I don’t like the reading because I don’t want to think that there are those who are not welcome to the feast, simply because they aren’t rightly dressed or don’t fit in whatever way. Continue reading

Misaligned

DiazFrom Krista Tippett’s recent interview with author Junot Diaz:

We are not a culture that has built into our way of being, our way of thinking, our civic imaginaries — contemplation, mourning, working through difficult contradictory emotions. That’s not part of our society; and therefore, where society leaves off, we need to take up.

Society miseducates us. Society gives us a lot of prompts and a lot of encouragements to be reactive, emotionally reactive. In this, we have received tremendous tutelage. So the ability to do what our societies seem incapable and unwilling to do is important. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: We Despised the Pleasant Land

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Fort McMurray Alberta Tar Sands, Kris Krüg CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Proper 23(28)
19th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 106

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

When you tell the story of your, your family’s, or your community’s journey, what role does the land and its nonhuman creatures play?

Central to God’s promise to ancient Israel was a land to call their own, both as a people and as local families. In this week’s reading, Psalm 106 presents one of several biblical summaries of Israel’s relationship with YHWH, the land and its peoples. It is framed by “praise YHWH,” although the core of the psalm laments the people’s constant disobedience and forgetfulness. Throughout the psalm, the land is close at hand, beginning with deliverance from Egypt via the Red Sea, and continuing into the wilderness struggles. Continue reading