Anti-Semitism and Hypocrisy at the Top: a Jewish response

OmarBy Wes Howard-Brook

Three, young, powerful, brash women of color have come down upon the Capitol and left the old while folks there sputtering in their wake. The most well-known—so much so that she already can be recognized by her initials, AOC—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY)—has blown the doors off Congress by daring to offer her “Green New Deal” vision. The other two are both Muslim women, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. Tlaib and Omar have strongly promoted the international “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction” campaign to pressure the Israeli government to withdraw from West Bank settlements. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Seraphim, seed people and fish folk, oh my!: celebrating God’s kaleidoscopic web of life

circle of life

Circle of Life, Zane Saunders, 1993 Creative Commons

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany C
Isaiah 6:6:1-13
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

By Wes Howard Brook and Sue Furguson Johnson

This week’s readings reveal life springing forth from sky, sea and soil: seraphim speak to Isaiah, fish are netted by Simon Peter, and images of fleshy seeds of resurrection flow from Paul’s mouth (in the section of 1 Cor 15 that follows the lectionary passage). And if we listen a bit more closely, we can hear the usual lines that distinguish one creature from another blur and cross: Jesus promises that Simon will fish for people, while, for Paul, humans bloom and fruit like flowering trees. What might these criss-crossing images teach us about the intersectionality among living beings, in this realm and in the realm beyond the veil? Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Word of God in the Wilderness

hill country of Judea.jpg

Photo Credit: Hill Country of Judea by Ferrell Jenkins

Advent 2C

Luke 3.1-6

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Just as the CNN and MSNBC cameras turn their lenses to the president and his people, God’s Word comes to an obscure group of folk whose hope is elsewhere.

We who read the pages of Radical Discipleship hardly need to be told that our hope is not in Trump or the Democratic Party or any of the professional purveyors of the imperial status quo. So it is not surprising to us to hear that in Luke’s time, the Word of God was heard not in Rome or Judea or elsewhere in the corridors of worldly power but in the wilderness.

Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!

shaggy manes

shaggy manes

Proper 23(28) B
21st Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 10:17-31

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

This week’s Gospel from Mark is a familiar one, in which a rich man comes to Jesus seeking the path to inheriting “eternal life.” As Ched Myers noted three decades ago now (!), the key to the story is the “ringer” command Jesus adds to the familiar ones from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 6: “You shall not defraud [Gk, apostereō].” Continue reading

Review of Dianne Bergant, A New Heaven, a New Earth: The Bible and Catholicity

bookBy Wes Howard-Brook

Readers here of the “Wild Lectionary” series hardly need to be convinced of the Bible’s deep concern for all of God’s good creation. Our shared journey through the Scriptures from the perspective of Earth and her creatures has brought forth beautiful, poignant and powerful reflections on our own broken relationship with creation and the path to mutual healing.

But as we also know, humanity as a whole continues to run roughshod over the planet as if the constant alarm bells of record-breaking heat, storms and drought were not audible over the din of commerce and headphoned distractions. People who identity as “Christians” often lead the charge of climate denial and rejection of God’s love for creation. For such people, Dianne Bergant’s solid, steady, gentle overview of the Bible’s message of ecojustice may be just what is needed to shift perspective enough to join the movement to transform and to heal our relationship with creation. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Imperial Logic and Creation

cows enslavedProper 5(10)B

1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15
Genesis 3:8-15

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you; sow the land. And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.”  They said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.” (Gen 47.23-25) Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Transfiguration

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Fresh buds on Tiger Mountain

Transfiguration B
Mark 9:2-9

By Sue Ferguson Johnson and Wes Howard-Brook

“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.” (Mk 9.2)

It has been a long, wet, grey, dark winter so far here in the Issaquah Creek watershed. While we have been spared the intense cold and massive snowfalls visited upon our sisters and brothers to the east, the relentless “parade of storms” from the Pacific Ocean (as local weatherfolk like to call it) can wear away at even the most committed pluviophile. Continue reading