Listen to the Stones

HumphreyBy Matthew Humphrey (right),

Not one stone will be left stacked upon another
the teacher said, the twinkle in his eye dimming just a moment,
as they all gasped, Say it’s not so!
Their human gaze traced in adorned temple stones.
Listen to the stones, my friends.

The stones… on which Jacob dreamed at Bethel – the house of God.
The 12 stones… circled round, gathered up from Jordan rivers banks,
by ancestors, all gathered at Gilgal, the circle of standing stones. Continue reading

Wild Church: Plumb Lines and Prophets

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Greta Thunberg by Stephane P cc

Proper 10(15) C

Amos 7:7-17

By Matthew Humphrey

“See I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people.”

So Amos prophecies in today’s lectionary reading. This shepherd-turned prophet emerges from South of the Border to unleash a fiery word upon Israel and King Jeroboam. Like Hosea before him, he professes, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a shepherd, and a dresser of sycamore-trees.” This location that makes him the choice instrument of God’s word to Israel. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Sheep are not sexy

10599554_10152591711770351_5785986799088242268_nFourth Sunday of Easter (B)
John 10: 1-18
By Matthew W. Humphrey

Sheep are not sexy.

Many biblical commentators struggle with language for this most archetypal figure, oftentimes casting them in unfortunate ways.  In a brief review of the 9 commentaries on the Gospel of John, which contains the reading this week, I counted no less than 6 which noted that sheep were “stupid,” “dumb,” or “dirty.”  (And, equally surprising, all noted how the role of Shepherd in the ancient world was one of ill repute.)  Perhaps that is correct, but if sheep are dumb it is in the same ways as you and I.  Namely: they seek out their own self-preservation, reacting to circumstances and perceived threats, often making rash decision based on incomplete knowledge.  Sheep lack depth perception, meaning they see shadows and pools of water as mysterious threats to be avoided.  (I don’t know about you, but I often lack vision too.)

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Reinhabiting Place: The Work of Bioregional Discipleship

Tell me the landscape in which you live and I will tell you who you are.
Ortega Y Gasset

From Matthew W. Humphrey of the Little Campbell River Watershed (right), working to integrate the life of faith with the practices of caring for creation. Since earning an MATS from Regent College in Vancouver, Humphrey has worked with A Rocha Canada, a Christian environmental stewardship organization (www.arocha.ca), as both an educator and practitioner. Alongside overseeing various experiments in sustainable agriculture, Humphrey teaches in churches, colleges, and community settings. In his free time, he enjoys reading, listening to bluegrass, tending his flocks, and spending time outside with his wife, Roxy, and two children, Abigail and Elijah. This is an excerpt from a longer piece that appeared in The Other Journal, which we encourage readers to read in its entirety.
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