Wing and a Prayer, 2014, mixed media, L.J. Throstle
By Lucy Price
Matthew, Mark and Luke all contain seizures and demons in the same sentence and some even translate the word to epilepsy. Lunatic and moonstruck are closer to the original translation, but in any case growing up in the church as a person living with epilepsy, hearing the story of the boy brought to Jesus for healing left me with a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. Continue reading
Wangari Maathai mural in the Lower Haight. Photo by Phil Dokas.
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie
As I reflected on today’s readings, the theme they seemed to weave together is to begin Lent by reviewing our stories. With the First Reading, in which the writers of Deuteronomy are giving the reader a sort of Last Will and Testament of Moses, God’s people are reminded of their history and God’s presence in it. They are told to recount that history in ritual and celebration. We are also being reminded to reflect on our personal intergenerational stories. Who were our ancestors? How was God with them as they journeyed? How do their stories impact your story? How has God’s presence in all of our stories led us to where we are today: physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually? The First Reading reminds us to ponder these questions as we reflect on our stories. Continue reading
By Mary Ann Saunders
For me, as a trans woman, the Transfiguration feels deeply personal.
It’s not just that the word transfiguration simply means “a change of form”—which is something I know quite a bit about—nor is it simply that my experience and Jesus’ experience are consistent with the natural world. Creation, after all, is full of transfigurations: tadpoles become frogs, seeds become plants, some fish species change sex, caterpillars become butterflies (this last itself being a popular metaphor for gender transitions). We now even know that genetic information—supposedly immutable—can change over the course of our lives.
7th Sunday After Epiphany
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
By Rev. Miriam Spies
Some commentators read this passage as a moment of reconciliation and forgiveness between family…or a story of redistributing food and wealth based on need, but the misuse of power and thinking we know the mind of God has harmful effects for Joseph’s family and for generations of people to come.
Circle of Life, Zane Saunders, 1993 Creative Commons
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany C
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
By Wes Howard Brook and Sue Furguson Johnson
This week’s readings reveal life springing forth from sky, sea and soil: seraphim speak to Isaiah, fish are netted by Simon Peter, and images of fleshy seeds of resurrection flow from Paul’s mouth (in the section of 1 Cor 15 that follows the lectionary passage). And if we listen a bit more closely, we can hear the usual lines that distinguish one creature from another blur and cross: Jesus promises that Simon will fish for people, while, for Paul, humans bloom and fruit like flowering trees. What might these criss-crossing images teach us about the intersectionality among living beings, in this realm and in the realm beyond the veil? Continue reading
Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
By Mark McReynolds
Since the 2016 US elections, I have found environmental news both sad and enraging. I’ve been angered by the near theft of public land for extractive use and how “natural resource” industry lobbyists are now in charge of our federal land. Drilling for oil off the coast of California and in the middle of critically needed Sage Grouse habitat (surely messing up both) to enrich already rich oil companies is approved without even a nod to our changing climate. Reading of such news leads me to unloving thoughts.
Third Sunday after Epiphany C
A Gaian reading of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
By Valerie Luna Serrels
12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
12:13 For in the one Spirit we were all created into one body – Jew or Gentile, all faith traditions or no faith traditions; of all genders; of all languages; of all colors – black, brown, white skin, green and multi-colored scaly skin, fur, feathers, stems, flowers and roots; two-legged, four-legged, multi-legged, legless, winged, finned, and rooted; All creatures, minerals, and elements of land, sea and sky; Continue reading