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.

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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

Wild Lectionary: Until there is room for no one but you

kContinued from yesterday’s reflections on the lectionary for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:8-23

By Ched Myers

Isaiah articulates the contemptible socio-economic disparity in Israel. A series of prophetic “woes” (howy) commences in verse 5:8 that extend through 5:23, and the first one summarizes starkly and succinctly all that will follow. The image of  “joining house to house and field to field” specifically refers to the phenomenon of “latifundialization,” the economic process by which large landowners increase their holdings by foreclosing on indebted small farmers. Theologians Urich Duchrow and Franz Hinkelammert point out that the 8th century BCE saw history’s first wave of “privatization” spread throughout the Mediterranean world, including Israel: Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Ecological Theology of the Vineyard

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Old millstone, Palestine

Proper 22 (27)
18th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:1-7
Matthew 21:33-46

By Ched Myers

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost this year comes on the heels of the “Season of Creation,” a contemporary liturgical and lectionary movement celebrated during the four Sundays in September prior to St Francis of Assisi Day (4 October). Today’s haftorah—Isaiah’s famous “Song of the Vineyard”—continues this vein of ecological theology. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Our Default State is Goodness

20882079_10154703261826366_3299820859768196481_nProper 21(26)
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

By the Reverend Doctor Victoria Marie

As I reflected on today’s readings the theme that emerged is: our response to God. In the first reading Ezekiel is saying that when we turn away from what is just, we die. When we return to acting with justice, we save our lives. Continue reading

Tears Cannot Water the Land

 

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Credit: Clancy Dunigan

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’

Exodus 14:20-21

By Tevyn East and Jay Beck

John: “She died in a dry place, yet the spring followed her.
It followed her everywhere 
like a lover, easing us to rest,
springing from hidden places
 in our wanderings.

Always, we were thirsty. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Riff Raff, the Bedbugs, and the Signs

23-PovertyMascotsProper 18(23)

Exodus 7-12

By Laurel Dykstra

Now you know and I know, that lice, mice, roaches, bed-bugs, and rats are no respecters of persons. They invade the house of Pharaoh, the houses of his officials, and of all his people (Exod 8:21, 10:6); they infest the luxury hotels and the welfare hotels. But when the special shampoo costs eight dollars a bottle, and a visit from the exterminator $125, those that can—pay, and those that can’t, or whose landlord won’t—scratch.

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