Wild Lectionary: Like Rain

48389000_10155980490816146_6934145010568790016_o(1)Epiphany C

Psalm 72
Matthew 2:1-12

By Laurel Dykstra

For Christians, and perhaps preachers especially, there is immense pressure to approach scripture with a foregone conclusion, to find and preach some Good News, whatever contortions to the integrity of self or text that might require. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: From the Heavens and Earth

First Sunday after Christmas C
Psalm 148

By Laurel Dykstra

Salal + Cedar is the church that hosts and curates Wild Lectionary. We are in the middle of our fourth year as a community and this post marks the two-year anniversary of Wild Lectionary. Psalm 148, the praise hymn of all creation, is read every year on the first Sunday after Christmas and for Salal + Cedar it is an opportunity to reflect on the previous year. In 2018 we worked on restoring wildlife habitat on a trout and salmon stream, ran an environmental justice camp for youth, helped to midwife some emerging Wild Church projects, and continued in our resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host! Continue reading

Beautiful Darkness

48274981_10160262108808125_7399097197708443648_nCaitlin: During the season of Advent, I have a really hard time with how we talk about darkness, equating it with sin and evil, as though darkness isn’t created by and beloved of God. Especially because of how this is used to support white supremacy. So, I am going to be sharing some reflections on how great darkness is during Advent. Feel free to add your favourite things about darkness or how you embrace it this time of year.

Advent is a season of darkness. In the darkness of night your nocturnal creation awakes. In the darkness of winter we see your creation without the harsh light of the Sun. Give us new eyes to see this world in all its beauty. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Planted and Watered

IMG_4260.JPG

Author with Forest School Students

Easter 7(B)
Psalm 1

By Laurel Dykstra

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

The image of large well-watered trees growing larger is used in scripture as a symbol of human prosperity, abundance, and flourishing for individuals (Psalm 92:12-13) and nations (Ezekiel 31). Often the type of tree is unnamed but a significant number are cedars. In an arid landscape shade as a luxury, an association amplified by the biblical equation of cedar wood with wealth. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Thomas, Bodies, Touch, and Violence

2327423832_33fd64bd8d_oEaster 2(B)
John 20:19-31

By Laurel Dykstra

“Doubting Thomas” it’s the name we call someone who demands hard evidence, who won’t accept what we say or who doesn’t share our beliefs.

There are all kinds opportunities in the church use that name against someone. All sorts of differences in the beliefs of faithful Christians: angels, auras, miracles, marriage, dinosaurs, women disciples, Adam and Eve, Noah, what prayer is, what happens during a sacrament, what salvation means, what parts of the creeds we say with confidence and, perhaps most pertinent here, how we understand the resurrection. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Wonder and the True Easter Lily

skunk_cabbage.jpgEaster, Year B
Acts 10:34-43
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
John 20:1-18
Mark 16:1-8

By Jessica Miller

Across the northeast of North America at this season, a wonder is happening. The flowers of Symplocarpus foetidus have begun emerging and blooming from swamps and wet places. These true Easter-lilies—members of the same family of the Calla ‘lily’—are more commonly known as skunk-cabbage. Varieties of the plant also grow in Japan, where the red robe-like blossoms resembling a monk’s hood have gained it the name Zazen-sou, or Zen meditation plant.

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40 Birds of Lent: Final Count

Laurel1By Laurel Dykstra

While the word Lent comes from Middle English, quadragesima, the Latin word for the season means fortieth referring to the fortieth day before Easter. And while this resonates with a host of biblical wilderness forties—the 40 days of the flood, the Hebrew’s 40 year sojourn in the desert, Moses’ 40 days on Sinai, Elijah’s 40 day journey to Mt. Horeb, Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness—the actual number of days doesn’t quite add up, so different traditions have different metrics, (don’t count Sundays, Lent ends on Maundy Thursday) in order to get to 40. I love the biblical associations but the 40 Birds of Lent involved some cheating to make the numbers come out right.
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