Wild Lectionary: Homeless, Unrecognized on the Road

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Emmaus by Melanie Delva

Third Sunday of Easter
Luke 24:13-35

By Ched Myers

The gospel story begins with Jesus’ family fleeing violence as political refugees, pushed around Palestine by the imperial forces of Caesar and Herod (Matt 1–2; Luke 1–2). Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Breath

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Ron Berezan

Second Sunday of Easter
John 20: 19-31
By Ron Berezan

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:19-22

Living in fear can be hazardous to your health. Refugees, women subject to domestic violence, the imprisoned, the poor, the conquered and the otherwise oppressed and marginalized live with this daily. Not knowing who might burst through that locked door at any time and what violence they may inflict. Not knowing what tomorrow holds. Never sure who you can trust. Shallow breath, tension, always on edge. Exhaustion. Fear and locked doors. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Jesus seeds, sprout!

4472671089_c4d4169f44_b.jpgEaster Sunday
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Night and day, woman and man, soil and sky, humanity and God: all these primal pairs are present in this week’s proclamation of the Uprising of Jesus. Each pair echoes an element of the first chapters of Genesis, the foundational narrative of the “religion of creation” upon which John’s gospel is grounded. These connections help us to hear that the hope of Easter is not in an invisible part of one’s self (“the soul”) leaving earth for somewhere else, but in the power of the Creator God to continue to bring forth life from the earth, despite the murderous ways of empire. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Plastics as a Spiritual Crisis

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Plastics in Still Creek, salmon spawning stream, Fraser River watershed

Palm Sunday
Psalm 118:22

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

By Sasha Adkins

The ever-increasing abundance of plastic trash in land, sea and bodies is, fundamentally, a spiritual problem. Plastics habituate us to accept unhealthy relationships—and not only because our use of them is so typically fleeting. The foundation of a healthy relationship lies in a celebration of the Other’s unique and intrinsic value; disposable plastics, however, are by design both fungible and instrumental. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Dry earth, Dry bones

IMG_3439.jpegFifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14

By Carmen Retzlaff

The hand of the Lord came upon Ezekiel, who was in exile from his homeland. “The prophet very rarely speaks of God’s face: he feels his hand,” says Abraham Heschel in The Prophets (Harper, 1962). In his vision, Ezekiel feels the hand of the Lord upon him, bringing him out and setting him in the middle of a dry valley, filled with bones. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: We Are Animals

12289514_10153766241763739_1680757321006336246_n.jpgFourth Sunday in Lent
Psalm 23:1-3

1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
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God makes me lie down in green pastures; God leads me beside still waters;
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God restores my soul.

By Ric Hudgens

I live in a household with a seven-year old who has no trouble connecting with her animal identity. I often awaken in the morning to hear her downstairs growling, barking, howling, or singing. She may be imitating a dog, a monkey, a bear, a lion, or a bird.  Like all young children she will eventually learn to separate her human identity from her animal identity. Mornings will grow quiet and my world will in one sense be a sadder place. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: There is No New Water. Living Water is Life-Giving Water.

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Water after a rain on the New Life Church land

Third Sunday in Lent
John 4:5-42

By Rev. Carmen Retzlaff

In Central Texas, we think a lot about water. The Texas climate is famously described by meteorologists as, historically, “drought with periods of flooding.” And so it seems. After seven years of droughts in which water wells dried up in our area, the nearby Blanco River flooded the small town of Wimberley and towns downstream in 2015. With this view of water in mind, I read the story of Jesus’s conversation with the woman at the well as a story about water. Continue reading