Wild Lectionary: Woven in the Depths

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Womb 2 Kovil BG Photo Credit: Fillipov Ivo, Creative Commons

Epiphany, Year B
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

By Ragan Sutterfield

E. Stanley Jones once wrote that if there is an instinct in the human heart to conceal there is also a deeper instict to reveal” (Victory Through Surrender). And yet, our culture keeps from authentic disclosure. We are invited, instead, to a kind of performative exposure, a way of revealing that also hides. We want to be known and seen but we do not trust those who might see us. We are afraid of what might happen if we are known, fully, authentically. So we manufacture disclosure on Facebook, hoping that in the commiseration of comments or praise of likes we will achieve what we are afraid to risk through a real openness. It is disclosure at the surface rather than at the depths.

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Wild Lectionary: Look to the Acorns

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Dark-eyed Junco
Photo Credit: Laurel Dykstra

Proper 28(33) A
Pentecost + 24

Matthew 25:14-30

By Ragan Sutterfield

I have been spending my mornings in the woods lately, a short hike before I begin to work on the tasks of the day. As fall finally arrives here in Arkansas the juncos have returned, twittering as they flash the white of their tails, and the long metallic notes of white-throated sparrows echo in the understory. Each step along the trails comes with a crunch, not only of the newly fallen leaves, but also of the acorns, cracking orange against the gray shale of the hillsides. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Coming of the Holy Breath

Djordje_Alfirevic_-_Breath_of_Earth

Djordje Alfirevic – Breath of Earth, CC 3.0 License

Pentecost

Acts 2:2-21
John 7:37-39
Psalm 104:25-35, 37

By Ragan Sutterfield

They were gathered for a festival of word and wheat, the harvest of plants grown from soil–breathing carbon, exhaling oxygen. Beneath the soil, the plant roots had spread a sugar feast for microbes who in turn gave their bodies for the wheat’s growth.  Those plants had now gone to seed, passing on their life to another season’s crop and in their abundance there was a harvest of bread for people and seed for birds and field mice and the life upon life that lives close to the ground.  It was at a festival for all these interactions, joined with a celebration of the coming of the Torah, those books that offered the story of a God who gives life to soil and cares about every detail of the material world.  The festival was Shavuot, Pentecost.  Continue reading