Wild Lectionary: God’s Own Pocket

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Bachelor Hills, Secwepemc Territory

Easter 6C

Revelation 21:10; 21:22-22:5

And in the spirit he carried me to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God…I saw no temple in the city.

by Rev LeAnn Blackert

Forty-five minutes into our hike, we crest the last steep stretch and find ourselves standing on a flat section of land with limitless views in all directions. The snow covered peaks of the mountains of Wells Gray Park highlight the northern view, while off to our west the sun begins its descent to the horizon. Blue gray hills rim the southern exposure and to the east the city of Kamloops nestles in the valley. I recall words offered to me years ago on a trail leading to the water’s edge in western Vancouver: “Truly we are being held in God’s own pocket.” Our Wild Church group’s experience atop one of the hills in Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops, BC, comes to mind when I read the words from Revelation. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Trees, a Gift for All or Entitlement for Some?

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Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals.”

I imagine that a new Jerusalem, where God will dwell, will most definitely have tree-lined streets. I also imagine that God’s design for the present Jerusalem—for Earth’s cities in general—is that all should benefit from the Divine gift of trees.

Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Sheep, Gazelle and Rock

45073825842_789e1c317b_bActs 9:36-43
Psalm 23

By Laurel Dykstra

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, our annual engagement with the repeated biblical assertion that both kingship and divine-human relations resemble sheep husbandry, the lectionary illuminates two key aspects of the emerging Wild Church Movement. Connected to both Watershed Discipleship and Contemplative Ecology, Wild Church is nothing more than Christians who intentionally worship, or seek to experience holiness, outside of buildings. In forests, deserts, city parks, beaches, urban vacant lots we reassert the strand of our tradition where wilderness is the place of divine encounter. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Raised for the Great Turning

Easter 3C
John 21:1-19

Bring some fish you have caught and come and have breakfast

By The Rev. Marilyn Zehr

This week I loved reading the resurrection story of barbequed fish and bread on the beach through Joanna Macy’s three narrative lens of business as usual, the great unraveling, and the great turning. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Thomas, Bodies, Touch, and Violence

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Hold Fast by Thor (Creative Commons License)

Easter 2(B)
John 20:19-31

By Laurel Dykstra

“Doubting Thomas” it’s the name we call someone who demands hard evidence, who won’t accept what we say or who doesn’t share our beliefs.

There are all kinds opportunities in the church use that name against someone. All sorts of differences in the beliefs of faithful Christians: angels, auras, miracles, marriage, dinosaurs, women disciples, Adam and Eve, Noah, what prayer is, what happens during a sacrament, what salvation means, what parts of the creeds we say with confidence and, perhaps most pertinent here, how we understand the resurrection. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Disappointment as Easter Hope

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Finding Light in the disappointment, walking the path together.

Easter Year C

Luke 24:13-35

A café in Toronto is to us, what the town square was to locals and travelers alike in villages in first century Palestine. Taking a quick detour from my compulsive list of daily activities, I deke into the café at the corner of King St. East and Jarvis. Filled with other delightful misfits and strangers I find solace in their company. As I snuggle up onto the only remaining seat on a bench with my earl grey tea, a young woman smiles at me.

Breaking news at the top of the hour is alarming: “The former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould and the former Minister of Indigenous Relations Jane Philpott have been removed from the Liberal Caucus!” My neighbor and I begin to talk. A woman at another table is moved by our animated conversation: “What has happened?” she presses. Seemingly the only three in the café that know the events of late, our debate begins. We agree, at the heart of the “SNC-Lavalin” matter is not just a personal misunderstanding, but rather the power of corporations to define the overarching political and economic landscape above public interests. I am ever more incensed with the reality of corporate power when the news continues with the coverage of Canada’s climate change. The report is “beyond grim.” It warns that Canada’s climate has been warming at roughly twice the rate of the rest of the world!  In Northern Canada, it’s even higher.” As our communal lament continues, a man with his back turned to us as he leaves, snaps: “I am tired of this conversation they should just move on, this is the way the world is.” His aggressive afront is disheartening, even as he leaves without the respect of listening.  It’s the deadening silence from so many others who remain fixed to their phones though, that fuels my disappointment more. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: No Peace in Heaven, No Peace on Earth

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Vincent VanGogh’s Starry Night

Liturgy of the Palms Year C
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3.1-2)

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! (Luke 12.51)

As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying,
“Blessed is the king

who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!
(Luke 19.37-38)

In imagining ways to hear Scripture from the lens of “wild lectionary,” we tend to jump to details of life on earth: water, trees, animals, mountains. This focus on earth is challenged by this week’s passage from Luke, as Jesus and his disciples enter Jerusalem for what we’ve come to call “Holy Week.” For Luke tells us that “the whole multitude of disciples” proclaimed as Jesus came down the Mount of Olives, not “peace on earth,” but “peace in heaven.” What can they be thinking? What is the relationship between heaven and earth when it comes to making peace? Continue reading