Wild Lectionary: Joseph—God’s Agent or Agent of Empire?

Field Egypt Farmer PeopleEleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 15(20)

“God has made me lord of all Egypt…” Joseph, son of Jacob (Gen 45.9)

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” Paul of Tarsus (Rom 8.19)

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

A decade or so ago, we spent two years of our monthly Saturday teaching/retreat series with the book of Genesis. Folks eagerly engaged Genesis’ anti-city perspective and its all-too-human characters. But when we got to the Joseph story, several rebelled angrily against our starting characterization of Joseph, son of Jacob, as a self-absorbed, manipulative power seeker, who “succeeded” by teaching Pharaoh how to manage famine for personal profit. What is it about Joseph that leads so many to want to see him as a heroic expression of faith? Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The mixology of Faith and Fear

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Erazo-Paris Family Archives, circa May 1969

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 14 (19)

1 Kings 19:9-18 & Matthew 14:22-33

[Elijah] answered “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:10

26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

By Priscilla Paris-Austin

Faith and fear seem to reside right next to each other in our world. I don’t know about you but I find this to be true in my family story over and over again. While the two seem incompatible, as I look back I can see how closely they are aligned, one driving me to the other, or moving me through its companion, until I find my way back to God’s enduring and steadfast love.

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: Kingdom Like a Seed

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wild mustard (public domain)

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 12(17)

Matthew 13:31-32

This week’s Wild Lectionary offers two different but complimentary takes on the seed parables.

The first is a host of resources –devotions, bible studies, children’s curricula, adult education material etc. prepared by A Rocha Canada for churches that are new to engaging with creation care. The free downloadable materials are focused on Good Seed Sunday, celebrated the Sunday after Earth Day, but are also relevant for the Season of Creation and this summer stretch of Year A in the Revised Common Lectionary where we visit the seed parables in Matthew.

The second offering is excerpts from an essay by Jim Perkinson: Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Earthkeepers

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Nelson leads prayers on Burnaby Mountain in the path of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 11 (16)
Romans 8:12-25

By Nelson Lee

I am an engineer working to address climate change, writing from the Coast Salish Seas where the city of Vancouver, BC has been established. First son of a refugee from China and an immigrant from Germany, both fleeing war. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Good Seed

Sole Food pic

Photo credit: Kelsey Brick

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 10 (15)
Ps. 65:9-13; Is. 55:10-13; Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23

By Jason Wood

Seeds, seeds, seeds.

Three of six of the appointed texts for today talk about them. The Psalmist refers to seeds implicitly, praising YHWH as the source of life-giving rains, fertile fields, and abundant harvests. Isaiah meditates upon seeds as the inevitable byproduct of the rain watering the earth, assuring his audience that, in the same way, God’s word is fruitful and effective. And Matthew relates one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, one of broad-scattered seed, thwarted growth, and stunningly rich production from the few that fall on good soil. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Seeking at the Essence

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Women at the well in Akot, South Sudan

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 9 (14)

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

By Judith Doll

Water – the essence of life. It is absolutely necessary for all living things to survive and has been since the beginning of time.

Water – Where does it come from? From the rain, falling from the heavens; from the streams, the rivers, the lakes, the ocean, and the rivers under the earth accessible by wells. Continue reading