1 Timothy 1:12-17
By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie
The words, “Your people… have acted perversely” could literally be stated today as “Your people are acting perversely.” Those words from Exodus are as applicable today as they were at the time that book of the Bible was written. Modern society has made idols of acquisition and consumption fed by greed for money and/or lust for power and prestige. Like Paul, in the first letter to Timothy, many of us “have acted ignorantly” in our complicity and support of these perverse systems that harm people and our relatives in creation. Continue reading
By Zoë Tobin Peterson
I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19
Growing up in Vancouver, a “green city,” I have been at the forefront of a shift towards choosing life. A shift towards environmental consciousness; but consciousness isn’t always enough. We can say we choose life all we want but until there is action behind it nothing is going to change. Our reasons for action matter as well, as they determine the proportions of the actions we take. If our intentions are to save the world for our generation alone, long-term changes just aren’t going to be made. Are we choosing life out of spite? Necessity? Validation? Love? Or are we acting because we see the Earth as more than just a witness?
Children learning about biodiversity and native plants at New Life Lutheran’s summer gardening camp. Photo by Greg McCord
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost,
Proper 17 (22)
Luke 14:1, 7-14
By Carmen Retzlaff
14:11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
In Central Texas, one of the signs that a local naturalist has slipped over the edge, into the rocky and nerdy social territory, is when they fall in love with native grasses. First they will just marvel at the indigenous bunch grasses. They’ll recognize a healthy grassland, where these compact plants take just the compact space they need, and allow for biodiversity, as opposed to invasive grasses, which blanket the earth and keep other things from growing. The grass-enamored naturalist will smile when they see patches of side oats grama or bushy bluestem, knowing how deep the roots extend into the clay and limestone, pulling precious rainwater into acquifers. They’ll be mesmerized by the sight of swaths of purple-tinged seep muhly. Continue reading
Photo from Salal and Cedar
Proper 16 C
By Rachael Bullock
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Continue reading
Proper 15(20) C
By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie
Recently, I had the honour of participating as the resident elder in the Sacred Earth Camp for youth, a project of Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community. The lectionary readings, in light of the Camp experience, motivated me to revisit and reflect on certain current truths and issues of concern. Continue reading
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
Proper 14 (9) C
Solomon offered as sacrifices of well-being to the LORD twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.
—1 Kings 8.63
What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me.
I will not accept a bull from your house, or goats from your folds.
For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?”
Pigeon Pair by Hal Trachenberg, Creative Commons
Proper 13(18) C
By Laurel Dykstra
Today’s lectionary passage from Hosea is a potent cocktail that mixes parental love and anger with political violence and nature imagery. More broadly and more problematically, the prophet’s oracles:
- imagine religious fidelity and commitment to justice, as sexual fidelity within patriarchy
- conflate non-monogamy and sex commerce
- assume that sexual violence (reparative rape) is a husband’s prerogative
- equate military violence and invasion with divine judgement.