Wild Lectionary: The Voice Crying, “Out in the Wilderness, Prepare the Way”

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Photo by Victoria Loorz, taken during the Thomas Fire near her home

December 10, 2017
Advent 2B

Isaiah 40:3

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness, prepare the way of the LORD…

2Peter 3:10-13

…and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed…waiting for the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? … But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. 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: 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: The Predator Within

2249220298_de45840ab4_o(1)Easter 7

Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.  –1 Peter 5:8

by Ric Hudgens

We must not domesticate our understanding of the wild. I am not referring to domesticating wild places into civilized spaces. I am noting our tendency to romanticize the wild in a way that removes its sharp edges.  In the rewilding of our theologies we must deconstruct docetic expressions that remove the divine and human from nature. Also, we must keep the divine and human embedded in real nature – not a romanticized Disneyland nature where animals sing and dance or time lapse photography makes change appear sudden.

The natural world which is filled with the divine and the contains the human is also “nature red in tooth and claw,” as Hobbes wrote. There are predators. There are prey. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Wild Church

-1.pngSixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 17: 22-31

The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. Acts 17:24-25

Re-connecting people with an untamed God in our wild homes.

There is a movement happening.  From isolation to connection.  From detachment to immersion.  From dualism to integration.  Spiritual leaders from a wide range of denominations are beginning to question the wisdom and consequences of regarding “church” as a building where you gather away from the rest of the world for a couple hours on Sundays.

In Texas, New Hampshire, Ontario, Colorado, Virginia, California, Washington DC and British Columbia. We are a growing network of pastors and spiritual leaders, who have made bold moves to launch new expressions of church outside to re-acquaint, re-cover, and re-member our congregations as loving participants of a larger community.  In this age of mass extinctions, we feel burdened by the love of Christ to invite people into direct relationship with some of the most vulnerable victims of our destructive culture:  our land, our waters, the creatures with whom we share our homes.

And, there, people remember that they belong to a larger beloved community.  Along the way, we have remembered that our Christian tradition of spiritual transformation has always been rooted in the actual local wilderness.

Join the Wild Church Network if you lead or want to lead your congregation out of buildings and into deeper relationship with God through nature in your community.

Wild Lectionary is curated by Laurel Dykstra, Priest in Charge of Salal + Cedar, Coast Salish Territory.

 

Wild Lectionary: Dry earth, Dry bones

IMG_3439.jpegFifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14

By Carmen Retzlaff

The hand of the Lord came upon Ezekiel, who was in exile from his homeland. “The prophet very rarely speaks of God’s face: he feels his hand,” says Abraham Heschel in The Prophets (Harper, 1962). In his vision, Ezekiel feels the hand of the Lord upon him, bringing him out and setting him in the middle of a dry valley, filled with bones. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: When the Spirit Sends You Into the Wilderness

IMG_0057.jpg(During Lent, we are journeying daily with King’s Beyond Vietnam. However, we will also continue to post the Wild Lectionary series on Thursdays)

First Sunday in Lent

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.  -Matthew 4:1-2

By Victoria Loorz

You don’t need to read the surveys to know that most people experience a sense of connection with the earth when they spend time in wilderness, but data does confirm it. A recent(ish) survey by Pew showed that six-in-ten adults in the general public (58%) say they often feel a “deep connection with nature and the earth,” with unaffiliated persons about as likely as Christians to agree (58% and 59%, respectively).  Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9 2012. Continue reading