Children learning about biodiversity and native plants at New Life Lutheran’s summer gardening camp. Photo by Greg McCord
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost,
Proper 17 (22)
Luke 14:1, 7-14
By Carmen Retzlaff
14:11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
In Central Texas, one of the signs that a local naturalist has slipped over the edge, into the rocky and nerdy social territory, is when they fall in love with native grasses. First they will just marvel at the indigenous bunch grasses. They’ll recognize a healthy grassland, where these compact plants take just the compact space they need, and allow for biodiversity, as opposed to invasive grasses, which blanket the earth and keep other things from growing. The grass-enamored naturalist will smile when they see patches of side oats grama or bushy bluestem, knowing how deep the roots extend into the clay and limestone, pulling precious rainwater into acquifers. They’ll be mesmerized by the sight of swaths of purple-tinged seep muhly. Continue reading
Photo from Salal and Cedar
Proper 16 C
By Rachael Bullock
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Continue reading
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