Wild Lectionary: Breath

leaf

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

Sermon: “Preceding the Dawn”

dawn.jpgBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Easter Vigil, April 16, 2017
– St. Peter’s Episcopal and Detroit Catholic Worker

Matthew 281-10

Dan Berrigan, now of blessed memory, who crossed over to the ancestors and saints a year ago this month, has since been repeatedly quoted as saying, “If you want to follow Jesus, you better look good on wood.” Theology in a quip. He also said, though less famously, “It all started with the Resurrection…If only we would have stayed put!”

I love the particulars, the details of Matthew’s story of how Jesus refused to stay put – and more often than not, God is in the details. Let me mention a few unique to Matthew’s Gospel. 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

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Tell Me About Easter, Mommy.

cherry

Photo credit: Erinn Fahey

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“Tell me about Easter, Mommy.” Oh, Shit. Has that time come already? How to explain resurrection to a three year old? How do I tell my kid that Jesus died and came back to life? How do I explain our most sacred story?

We’ve spent the last year and a half learning about death, holding it sacred, singing songs, holding fish funerals, burying my Grandma Bea, and visiting my mom’s grave. We’ve tried to hold the tension of telling him the truth and also being gentle with his heart paying close attention to any moments of confusion or fear. We made a decision to be honest with him about the very earthly reality of death, something that even adults in our culture try to ignore. Death is a beautiful, ordinary, and hard part of life. Continue reading

Triumphant

jesus christ.jpgBy Will O’Brien, Alternative Seminary, Philadelphia, PA

At Easter services yesterday, our congregation celebrated the resurrection with the requisite Easter hymns.  Though a few lesser known ones were thrown in the mix, we indulged in many of the great soul-stirring choruses:  “Up from the grave he arose,…” “Christ Our Lord Is Risen Today,…”

On a personal aesthetic note, I don’t bear a lot of fondness for some of these old classics, and their theology occasionally rubs me the wrong way.  But on this particular Easter Sunday, I was struck by how these hymns are almost without exception imbued with a brash and bold tone of triumphalism.  We hailed the mighty and exalted king.  In illustrious melody, we sang of glorious victory over foes (namely sin, death, and despair) vanquished and conquered. Continue reading

An Easter Vigil Word

mary magdalene Preached by Denise Griebler at the Detroit Peace Community/Catholic Worker/ St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Easter Vigil on Mark 16:1-8.

16 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The other day I cyber-stumbled on a new childrens’ book called Rad American Women from A to Z – it’s a picture book that teaches kid’s a little women’s history along with the ABCs. A is for Angela (as in Davis) – Z is for Zora (as in Neale Hurston). There’s even X for the women whose names we do not know.   It’s a collection form AtoZ of courageous, badass women we want our kids and our grandkids to know. Continue reading

Touch

touchTouch, however, is always ‘touchy.’ It crosses boundaries. In U.S. culture, we have a presumption against touch. ‘Look, but don’t touch’ describes behavior toward objects, but is also used to describe relations between people…. Jesus … allowed himself to be touched by the bleeding woman who reached him through the crowd and the woman anointer at Bethany. He received Judas’ ambiguous kiss and the violent soldiers’ blows. After his death women touched him, washed him, rubbed oil into his skin, and wrapped his body in linens. Even resurrected Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Touch me and see. No ghost has flesh and bones like this. — Rose Marie Berger