Wild Lectionary: Hope in Worthless Places and Common Life

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“Abandoned Lot at 1400 Avenue E North” by Wendy Cooper

Proper 22, Year C

By Ragan Sutterfield

A couple of weeks ago I went on a birding tour of Monterey Bay. My guide on the trip was Debra Shearwater, a legend in the bird watching world, who has guided birders through those waters for over forty years. It was her birthday and it was the last season she would be leading pelagic tours.

As we watched the shearwaters, albatrosses, and murre’s of the bay, Shearwater told us about the changes she had seen. The water, she said, has changed color over the years. The krill populations have crashed and so fewer Blue Whales are seen. Over the last nesting season, large numbers of ocean-going birds had complete nesting failures, many of them not even bothering to lay eggs. “Go see them while you can,” she said, “especially the Northern birds, they are disappearing quickly.”

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Hope in Worthless Places and Common Life”

Wild Lectionary: Balm in Gilead

Close up of oils on altar

Proper 20(25) C

By Laurel Dykstra

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored? Jeremiah 8:22

Jeremiah’s exile lament uses the language of health and healing to speak of a return to faithfulness. The phrase has become an expression for a universal cure.

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Balm in Gilead”

Wild Lectionary: Choosing Life in the Context of Climate Change

69907266_10156534406631146_7098887487753289728_nProper 16(21)C

By Zoë Tobin Peterson

I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19

Growing up in Vancouver, a “green city,” I have been at the forefront of a shift towards choosing life. A shift towards environmental consciousness; but consciousness isn’t always enough. We can say we choose life all we want but until there is action behind it nothing is going to change. Our reasons for action matter as well, as they determine the proportions of the actions we take. If our intentions are to save the world for our generation alone, long-term changes just aren’t going to be made. Are we choosing life out of spite? Necessity? Validation? Love? Or are we acting because we see the Earth as more than just a witness?

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Choosing Life in the Context of Climate Change”

Wild Lectionary: Agency, Age, and Attentiveness to Power

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Photo from Salal and Cedar

Proper 16 C
Jeremiah 1:4-10

By Rachael Bullock

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Agency, Age, and Attentiveness to Power”

Wild Lectionary: Prophets False and True

20190810_123639-Turtle-Valley02Proper 15(20) C

Jeremiah 23:23-29
Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Luke 12:49-56

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

Recently, I had the honour of participating as the resident elder in the Sacred Earth Camp for youth, a project of Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community. The lectionary readings, in light of the Camp experience, motivated me to revisit and reflect on certain current truths and issues of concern. Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Prophets False and True”

Wild Lectionary: “I do not delight in the blood of bulls!”- God’s Invitation to Participate in Prophetic, Poetic Proclamation

flock of geeseBy Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Proper 14 (9) C

Solomon offered as sacrifices of well-being to the LORD twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.
—1 Kings 8.63

What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me.
—Isaiah 1.11-13

I will not accept a bull from your house, or goats from your folds.
For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?”
—Psalm 50.9-13

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: “I do not delight in the blood of bulls!”- God’s Invitation to Participate in Prophetic, Poetic Proclamation”

Wild Lectionary: Trembling Birds

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 Pigeon Pair by Hal Trachenberg, Creative Commons

Proper 13(18) C

Hosea 11:1-11

By Laurel Dykstra

Today’s lectionary passage from Hosea is a potent cocktail that mixes parental love and anger with political violence and nature imagery. More broadly and more problematically, the prophet’s oracles:

  • imagine religious fidelity and commitment to justice, as sexual fidelity within patriarchy
  • conflate non-monogamy and sex commerce
  • assume that sexual violence (reparative rape) is a husband’s prerogative
  • equate military violence and invasion with divine judgement.

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Trembling Birds”

Pastoral Letter

8699828939_8a53b785ab_bBy Laurel Dykstra

in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage

My scarred and raging
weary-eyed beloveds

ordinary defiant
with your teaching-outfit selfies
purple hair
fancy waistcoats
songs in a new range
carpentry projects
surfboards
magic card tricks
raspberry canes

You are magnificent Continue reading “Pastoral Letter”

Wild Lectionary: Remembering to listen in turbulent times

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Remembering to Listen, Trans Mountain Pipeline route Burnaby, BC

Proper 11(16)

Genesis 18:1-10a
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

When I first looked at these readings, it was the day when the UN High Commission on Refugees released the latest figures. “An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.” The agency also reported that “There are also millions of stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.”

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Remembering to listen in turbulent times”

Wild Lectionary: Guerilla Exegesis

9781610974011Pentecost 2C
The Demon Legion

By Obery Hendricks

An excerpt from “Guerilla Exegesis: ‘Struggle’ As A Scholarly Vocation,” Libertating Biblical Study (Cascade, 2011).

Guerrilla exegesis is transgressive. Irreverent. Asks questions: Silly Wabbit, how can the possessive demonic presence called “Legion” in Mark 5, the occupying presence tht wrought the bitter pathology of oppression in Mark’s community and sought to remain in possession of the country, not the man (v. 10), be anything but the Roman military? Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Guerilla Exegesis”