Wild Lectionary: Leafy Branches Sunday – Domingo de Ramos

imagejpeg_0-5Palm Sunday, Year B
Mark 11:1-11

By Carmen Retzlaff

The Palm Sunday story in the Gospel of Mark says that

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. (Mark 11:8)

The Greek (from Thayer’s Greek Dictionary) is:

stiba¿ß; stibas, stibados; a. a spread or layer of leaves, reeds, rushes, soft leafy twigs, straw, etc., serving for a bed; b. that which is used in making a bed of this sort, a branch full of leaves, soft faliage Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Purge Me with Hyssop

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 8.43.44 PMLent 5B
Psalm 51:7b

By Laurel Dykstra

The psalmist says “purge me with hyssop” –clean me with a scrubby aromatic plant.

Mediterranean Hyssop— Hyssopus officinalis is a pungent-leafed bush with blue flowers that is used medicinally, mostly in teas as an expectorant, antiseptic and for cough relief. But the qualities that the bible ascribes to Hyssop: it grows in walls, can hold moisture, has a long, stiff stalk, has a purgative effect, appear in no one plant. Other suggested candidates for biblical Hyssop include caper, Syrian oregano, and za’atar a word which Palestinians use for a family of aromatic herbs (and the ubiquitous condiment made from their dried leaves). Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: God’s Gonna Trouble the Waters

IMG_7545.JPGLent 1B
Genesis 9:8-15
Mark 1:9-15

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Water flows through our ancient Judeo-Christian texts. Righteousness pours down like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24), and Jesus offers relief to those who thirst (John 4:13–15). Before whales or eagles or humans did, God dwelt among the waters (Gen 1). The creation of heaven and earth commenced through a parting of the seas. Rains fell, destroying all creatures except those aboard an ark, awaiting a rainbow covenant that promised an end to the waters of judgment (Gen 9:11–17). The Israelites flee from their oppressors to freedom through the miracle of a parting sea that offered safe passage from empire into the wilderness (Exod 14). In the Gospels, Jesus was baptized into the wildness of the river Jordan (Mark 1:9f), became living water at the well (John 4), and shed tears over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). From the beginning, water has offered a call to discipleship. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Transfiguration


Fresh buds on Tiger Mountain

Transfiguration B
Mark 9:2-9

By Sue Ferguson Johnson and Wes Howard-Brook

“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.” (Mk 9.2)

It has been a long, wet, grey, dark winter so far here in the Issaquah Creek watershed. While we have been spared the intense cold and massive snowfalls visited upon our sisters and brothers to the east, the relentless “parade of storms” from the Pacific Ocean (as local weatherfolk like to call it) can wear away at even the most committed pluviophile. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Awe


Photo credit: NASA

Epiphany 5B
Isaiah 40:21-31

By Camen Retzlaff

Sometimes I am asked why the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible, says that we should “fear” God, who is love. Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.

Have you not known, have you not heard?” says God in Isaiah this week. It is God who sits above the circle of the earth. We, the inhabitants of this planet, are like grasshoppers. God stretches a curtain of heaven for us, as a tent. God is reassuring here: this defeat, this moment in history, this war is not the big story. The story is so much bigger. God brings princes to naught and makes rulers of the earth like dead plants blown in the wind. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: What We Do with Our Bodies

227350_659624815131_692849_nEpiphany 4B
1 Corinthians 8:4-6, 8

As to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as in fact there are many gods and many lords– yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

 “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.

By David Pritchett

Fireflies and Feathers: Two Kinds of Farming

The summer of 2012 was hot in the Midwest. By the fourth week of temperatures over 90 degrees, and over two months without rain, the grass was brown and our crops in Northeastern Indiana were not faring any better. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: For They Were Fishermen


PC: Arthur Black

Epiphany 3B

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:16-17 

As this week’s lectionary readings tell about the fishing families of Galilee, Wild Lectionary talked to ‘Nagmis fisherman Arthur Black. The ‘Namgis First Nation take their name from a halibut-like sea creature who saved a lone human during a flood when water covered the whole world. We asked Arthur to talk to people of faith about fishing on the West Coast of British Columbia and the threats to wild salmon which have been a staple food and source of wealth and culture for indigenous people in this region for millennia.

Wild Lectionary: Can you talk about fishing in your family?

Arthur Black: I am a fourth generation commercial native fisherman, my kids and grandchildren fish commercially with me on our vessel. Growing up I fished on my grandfather’s boat; when I started skippering boats my great-grandfather Harry Brown came out of retirement and fished with us till his passing in1987. Continue reading