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: Learn from the Fig Tree

PhotoAdvent 1B

Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37

By Jessica Miller

Many years ago, on a prairie in Michigan, I became a student of the landscape. Officially, I tracked phenology, or the study of seasonal phenomena. Mostly I would wander the tall grass, seeking changes in the flowers. Who is blooming? Who is senescing? Whose shoots are green and growing? Some days would be punctuated by the commanding, haunting, rolling trumpet-call of sandhill cranes. The sound yanked my head up out of the grass and up to the sky. Where were they coming from? Where were they going? Learning the birds and plants and just a tiny fraction of the invisible strings that tie them to the world (the temperature, the direction of the wind, the rising and setting of the sun) taught me how to listen to the Spirit. Where does she come from? Where is she going? You can never know for sure, and yet you can become familiar with her flight-paths. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Soothe the Earth and Heal the Waters

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Western Shoshone and North American Catholic Workers at the Nevada National Security Site.

Feast of Christ the King

Ezekiel 34.11-12, 15-17
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Matthew 25:31-46

By Victoria Marie

Today is the feast of Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday. The mental images that the words “king” and “reign” bring to mind are based on our knowledge of the actions of kings and political leaders.  Today’s first reading from the prophet Ezekiel gives us God’s view of leadership. The image of the shepherd is commonly used to portray monarchs in biblical literature. So, if we think of Christ the King as Christ the Good Shepherd, we have a truer sense of what this day is about. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Letting it flow down the creek

IMG_4361Proper 27(32)A
Pentecost + 23

I Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25: 1-13

Keep awake therefore, for you do not know the day or the hour. (Mt 25:13)

…so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Th 4:13)

By Andrew Hudson

I’m an empty-nester, twice over. I sent my son off to college a couple years ago, and I’m still not through adjusting. And just recently, I had a similar experience, sending off a good, small Mennonite congregation to a new location at the end of my being their interim pastor.  Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Who Is My Neighbor?

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Sacred Earth Camp youth catalogue species at Coleman Creek Credit: Devin Gillan

Proper 25 (30)
Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 22:34-46

By Laurel Dykstra

In today’s Gospel when asked about the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus’ reply is simple, “love God, love your neighbor.” In Luke, this same exchange is followed by the question, “who is my neighbor?” which Jesus answers with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The story of upstanding citizens who fail to respond to suffering after an assault has obvious parallels for first world Christians confronted by climate crisis, species extinctions, and environmental racism. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Judgment and Joy

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Photo credit: Laurel Dykstra

Proper 24(29)
20th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 96

by Calvin Redekop

I love to return again to the Scriptures, to those visions seen by the prophets and apostles and singers of Israel about the “peaceful reign of God.” There is a strange concatenation of judgment and celebration in some of the Psalms, especially Psalms 96 to 99 and 104. Psalm 99 beings, “The Lord is king; let the people tremble!” In many Christian circles it is today politically incorrect to speak about God as king, as reigning, as judging, and instead God is portrayed as a morally nondiscrimination, indulgent Santa. Such and attitude represents the deliberate denial of a theme that runs through the Bible from beginning to end. “The Lord is king,” and one of the functions of a king was to be a judge, to dispense justice.

Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: We Despised the Pleasant Land

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Fort McMurray Alberta Tar Sands, Kris Krüg CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Proper 23(28)
19th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 106

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

When you tell the story of your, your family’s, or your community’s journey, what role does the land and its nonhuman creatures play?

Central to God’s promise to ancient Israel was a land to call their own, both as a people and as local families. In this week’s reading, Psalm 106 presents one of several biblical summaries of Israel’s relationship with YHWH, the land and its peoples. It is framed by “praise YHWH,” although the core of the psalm laments the people’s constant disobedience and forgetfulness. Throughout the psalm, the land is close at hand, beginning with deliverance from Egypt via the Red Sea, and continuing into the wilderness struggles. Continue reading