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

Wild Lectionary: Kingdom Like a Seed

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wild mustard (public domain)

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 12(17)

Matthew 13:31-32

This week’s Wild Lectionary offers two different but complimentary takes on the seed parables.

The first is a host of resources –devotions, bible studies, children’s curricula, adult education material etc. prepared by A Rocha Canada for churches that are new to engaging with creation care. The free downloadable materials are focused on Good Seed Sunday, celebrated the Sunday after Earth Day, but are also relevant for the Season of Creation and this summer stretch of Year A in the Revised Common Lectionary where we visit the seed parables in Matthew.

The second offering is excerpts from an essay by Jim Perkinson: Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Earthkeepers

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Nelson leads prayers on Burnaby Mountain in the path of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 11 (16)
Romans 8:12-25

By Nelson Lee

I am an engineer working to address climate change, writing from the Coast Salish Seas where the city of Vancouver, BC has been established. First son of a refugee from China and an immigrant from Germany, both fleeing war. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Good Seed

Sole Food pic

Photo credit: Kelsey Brick

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 10 (15)
Ps. 65:9-13; Is. 55:10-13; Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23

By Jason Wood

Seeds, seeds, seeds.

Three of six of the appointed texts for today talk about them. The Psalmist refers to seeds implicitly, praising YHWH as the source of life-giving rains, fertile fields, and abundant harvests. Isaiah meditates upon seeds as the inevitable byproduct of the rain watering the earth, assuring his audience that, in the same way, God’s word is fruitful and effective. And Matthew relates one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, one of broad-scattered seed, thwarted growth, and stunningly rich production from the few that fall on good soil. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Seeking at the Essence

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Women at the well in Akot, South Sudan

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 9 (14)

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

By Judith Doll

Water – the essence of life. It is absolutely necessary for all living things to survive and has been since the beginning of time.

Water – Where does it come from? From the rain, falling from the heavens; from the streams, the rivers, the lakes, the ocean, and the rivers under the earth accessible by wells. Continue reading