Wild Lectionary: Learn from the Fig Tree

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Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37

By Jessica Miller

Many years ago, on a prairie in Michigan, I became a student of the landscape. Officially, I tracked phenology, or the study of seasonal phenomena. Mostly I would wander the tall grass, seeking changes in the flowers. Who is blooming? Who is senescing? Whose shoots are green and growing? Some days would be punctuated by the commanding, haunting, rolling trumpet-call of sandhill cranes. The sound yanked my head up out of the grass and up to the sky. Where were they coming from? Where were they going? Learning the birds and plants and just a tiny fraction of the invisible strings that tie them to the world (the temperature, the direction of the wind, the rising and setting of the sun) taught me how to listen to the Spirit. Where does she come from? Where is she going? You can never know for sure, and yet you can become familiar with her flight-paths. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Soothe the Earth and Heal the Waters

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Western Shoshone and North American Catholic Workers at the Nevada National Security Site.

Feast of Christ the King

Ezekiel 34.11-12, 15-17
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Matthew 25:31-46

By Victoria Marie

Today is the feast of Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday. The mental images that the words “king” and “reign” bring to mind are based on our knowledge of the actions of kings and political leaders.  Today’s first reading from the prophet Ezekiel gives us God’s view of leadership. The image of the shepherd is commonly used to portray monarchs in biblical literature. So, if we think of Christ the King as Christ the Good Shepherd, we have a truer sense of what this day is about. Continue reading

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: Letting it flow down the creek

IMG_4361Proper 27(32)A
Pentecost + 23

I Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25: 1-13

Keep awake therefore, for you do not know the day or the hour. (Mt 25:13)

…so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Th 4:13)

By Andrew Hudson

I’m an empty-nester, twice over. I sent my son off to college a couple years ago, and I’m still not through adjusting. And just recently, I had a similar experience, sending off a good, small Mennonite congregation to a new location at the end of my being their interim pastor.  Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Until there is room for no one but you

kContinued from yesterday’s reflections on the lectionary for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:8-23

By Ched Myers

Isaiah articulates the contemptible socio-economic disparity in Israel. A series of prophetic “woes” (howy) commences in verse 5:8 that extend through 5:23, and the first one summarizes starkly and succinctly all that will follow. The image of  “joining house to house and field to field” specifically refers to the phenomenon of “latifundialization,” the economic process by which large landowners increase their holdings by foreclosing on indebted small farmers. Theologians Urich Duchrow and Franz Hinkelammert point out that the 8th century BCE saw history’s first wave of “privatization” spread throughout the Mediterranean world, including Israel: Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Ecological Theology of the Vineyard

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Old millstone, Palestine

Proper 22 (27)
18th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:1-7
Matthew 21:33-46

By Ched Myers

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost this year comes on the heels of the “Season of Creation,” a contemporary liturgical and lectionary movement celebrated during the four Sundays in September prior to St Francis of Assisi Day (4 October). Today’s haftorah—Isaiah’s famous “Song of the Vineyard”—continues this vein of ecological theology. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Come to the Waters

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Photo by Wendy Janzen Grand River, Southwestern Ontario

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 13 (18)
Isaiah 55:1-5

By Wendy Janzen

 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters…”

Canada is a land of abundant fresh water. Ontario, the province in which I live, contains one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. Ontarians love our lakes and rivers.

This summer has been a wet summer here. I’ve hardly needed to water my vegetable garden, and my small patch of lawn is still a lush green from the regular, soaking rains. Some rains have come with too much rain falling too quickly, causing streams and rivers to overflow their banks. Continue reading