By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
Proper 14 (9) C
Solomon offered as sacrifices of well-being to the LORD twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.
—1 Kings 8.63
What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me.
I will not accept a bull from your house, or goats from your folds.
For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?”
Pigeon Pair by Hal Trachenberg, Creative Commons
Proper 13(18) C
By Laurel Dykstra
Today’s lectionary passage from Hosea is a potent cocktail that mixes parental love and anger with political violence and nature imagery. More broadly and more problematically, the prophet’s oracles:
- imagine religious fidelity and commitment to justice, as sexual fidelity within patriarchy
- conflate non-monogamy and sex commerce
- assume that sexual violence (reparative rape) is a husband’s prerogative
- equate military violence and invasion with divine judgement.
Proper 12(7) C
By Lini Hutchings
O God, come to our aid.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the One who is making the heavens and the earth
and to the One who comes in solidarity to heal all division,
and to the One who sustains us in the Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen. Continue reading
By Laurel Dykstra
in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage
My scarred and raging
with your teaching-outfit selfies
songs in a new range
magic card tricks
You are magnificent Continue reading
By Kyle Mitchell
I work on a farm and do a lot of farm-based education with youth. One of my weekly joys right now is walking the farm and leading kids on a tasting tour. We try carrots, sorrel, sugar snap peas, mint, cucumbers, blue borage flowers – which taste like cucumbers oddly enough. I point to a potato plant and ask kids to guess what the plant is. They guess – An apple plant? Tomato? Lettuce? When I dig down with the garden fork and begin to pull up on the plant, I can barely hold in my excitement. I know the squeals and gasps that will shortly ensue when they realize that, “it’s potatoes!” “Can we eat them?” Wait, no, we need to cook them first, I think? Mental note for later, “Google ‘can you eat raw potatoes’”. Continue reading
Remembering to Listen, Trans Mountain Pipeline route Burnaby, BC
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.”
By 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