Fourth Sunday in Lent
1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2God makes me lie down in green pastures; God leads me beside still waters;
3God restores my soul.
By Ric Hudgens
I live in a household with a seven-year old who has no trouble connecting with her animal identity. I often awaken in the morning to hear her downstairs growling, barking, howling, or singing. She may be imitating a dog, a monkey, a bear, a lion, or a bird. Like all young children she will eventually learn to separate her human identity from her animal identity. Mornings will grow quiet and my world will in one sense be a sadder place. Continue reading
Water after a rain on the New Life Church land
Third Sunday in Lent
By Rev. Carmen Retzlaff
In Central Texas, we think a lot about water. The Texas climate is famously described by meteorologists as, historically, “drought with periods of flooding.” And so it seems. After seven years of droughts in which water wells dried up in our area, the nearby Blanco River flooded the small town of Wimberley and towns downstream in 2015. With this view of water in mind, I read the story of Jesus’s conversation with the woman at the well as a story about water. Continue reading
The Third Sunday in Lent
By Sue Ferguson Johnson and Wes Howard-Brook
John 4 is like a kaleidoscope. From one angle, it is a story about Jesus’ gender-inclusive invitation to dis-cipleship. Turn it slightly and you can see Jesus seeking to heal a hostile history between Samaritans and Judeans. From yet another angle, it speaks to the question of authentic worship. Continue reading
Burnaby Mountain on the Kinder Morgan Trans-mountain Pipeline Expansion route.
Notes for Lent 2, By Laurel Dykstra
In these four verses two words, rough synonyms, eretz and adamah, are used for land
- 1 Eretz is used twice in this verse to speak of Abram’s native country, territory or perhaps property. It is linked to his people, his kin.
- 3 Adamah (same root as Adam) is used for the earth—the known world, and in contrast to v. 1 it is linked to all families.
(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
Victoria Marie (blue) at the Break Free from Fossil Fuels action at the Burnaby Mountain, Kinder Morgan tank facility.
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(many churches observe the Transfiguration this Sunday)
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Matthew 6: 24-34
By Reverend Dr. Victoria Marie
Today I’m just going to touch on a few points in the Gospel reading in the hopes that they stimulate more thoughts and questions for all of us. To set the stage, look at the unrestrained resource extraction, our addiction to fossil fuels, and the consumerism that threatens to consume us and the earth. Yet, we all have to earn a living and unfortunately, some people have no other choice but to work for industries and systems that are killing us. We have been drafted into a system where we are trying to serve God but are enslaved by wealth; quite a dilemma! Upton Sinclair wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Continue reading
Seventh Sunday After the Epiphany
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am YHWH, your God.” (Lev 19.9-10)
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
More than any other biblical text, the book of Leviticus claims to express the direct voice of YHWH. Of the 160 uses of the phrase, “I am YHWH” in the Hebrew Bible, 49 uses are in Leviticus. And yet, the book may be among the least respected or understood scriptural texts. It is to this very chapter in Leviticus that Jesus turns when asked about the greatest commandments. Just a few verses down from the quote above we find: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Lev 19.18; cf. Mk 12.31). Indeed, not only Jesus, but also Paul and James—made into opponents of each other in the post-Reformation culture wars—cite Lev 19.9 as central to discipleship (Rom 13.9; Gal 5.14; James 2.8). Continue reading