Wild Lectionary: She Saw a Well of Water

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Desert Well by David Winnie, Creative Commons, 2008

Proper 7, Season After Pentecost

Genesis 21:8-21

The biblical portrait(s) of Hagar include surrogacy, power, African identity, patriarchal family, enslavement, physical violence, pregnancy, migration, wilderness, water and the naming of God as one who sees. These are hard subjects and it would be easy to preach on another text. But when migrant bodies, mothers and children, are dying of thirst in the Arizona desert; when African refugees drown by the thousands in the Mediterranean; when corporations like Nestle, Kinder Morgan, and Dakota Access trample Indigenous women’s teaching that Water is Life; when the story of Isaac and Ishmael is used to normalize the Israeli occupation of Palestine; when overt acts of hatred against Muslims are escalating; and when white women’s complicity in criminalizing black bodies and exonerating murderous police is all but invisible, we cannot side-step this heritage that so profoundly speaks to our present. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Eagle Shared Its Strength

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Canon Ginny on the shores of the Yukon River. Credit The Rev. Belle Mickelson.

Aboriginal Day, June 21 (Canada) Aboriginal Day of Prayer, Anglican and Second Sunday after Pentecost

Exodus 19:3-6
Isaiah 40:25-31
Psalm 91

By Ginny Doctor

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day
Psalm 91:2-4

those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

I met Mark MacDonald (National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada) in the mid 1980’s at an Urban Indian ministry meeting in the States. He brought out his guitar and started playing this song called “On Eagle’s Wings,” written by Michael Joncas. I had not heard it but really liked it. It is based on Psalm 91 but the chorus from Isaiah goes like this: “and he will raise you up on Eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn; make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hands.” That song became the national anthem of Indian work in the Episcopal Church and was also know as “Mark’s song.” I was at another meeting and requested “On Eagle’s Wings” but was told, “That’s Father Mark’s song, we can’t sing it without him.” Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Beware the Cataclysm!

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Photo by Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson, Abide in Me

For readers of Wild Lectionary, there is hardly a Scripture passage more fitting than Genesis’ account of the Flood. The powerful, terrifying narrative is often reduced to a kids’ story, replete as it is with “cute” animals in the Ark. But, of course, beneath the surface is a story of divine near-omnicide, revealing a deep rift between the Creator’s vision and humanity’s response to God’s gift of the earth. In combination with the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 7.21-28), this week’s texts offer a sobering reminder of the cost of human violence to the earth and its creatures, including sapiens. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Harmony Way

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Randy and students at Eloheh Farm. Credit: Patricia McSherry

Trinity Sunday
Genesis 1:1-2:4a

By Randy Woodley

As a follower of Jesus from a Keetoowah Indian heritage, my “canon” consists of Scripture, creation, and the “Native American Old Testament” (God’s revelation to Native People through generations of culture and tradition.) 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: And Then the Stones Cried Out

2017-04-29 21.19.52.jpgFifth Sunday Of Easter

Acts 7:55-60
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
1 Peter 2:2-10
John 14:1-14

By Melanie Delva & Coyote Terry Aleck

The first three readings for this Sunday are a seemingly bizarre mix of passages dealing with stones.  First, the stoning of Stephen as he testifies to the glory of Christ. Then the Psalmist describing God as his “strong rock, a castle to keep me safe.” Finally Christ as the “living stone,” encouraging followers of Christ to, “like living stones, let [ourselves] be built into a spiritual house.” Stones that cause pain and death; stones that provide safety; stones that support new life. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Good Shepherd

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Earlychurch.com

Good Shepherd Sunday
Acts 2:42-47 • Psalm 23 • 1 Peter 2:19-25 • John 10:1-10
By Noel Moules

A shepherd is a wilderness figure. Distinctive, as they move across the horizon line, while at the same time blending and flowing with and within their surrounding landscape. Always an outsider in terms of mainstream society, yet across the story of human cultures their mystique has left an imprint out of all proportion to their actual power and influence.

Biblically, the concept of the ‘shepherd’ presents a multitude of possible perspectives we might explore, even within the confines of our chosen lectionary passages. However, as a Christian animist I want to focus on a theme of central importance to me, that of ‘relationship’. Continue reading