Wild Lectionary: Holy Land

Mt Erbal caves

Mt Arbel Caves

Advent 3B

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Luke 1:46b-55

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Just north of Magdala in Galilee stand the cave-pocked cliffs of Mt. Arbel. Twice in a hundred years, Roman soldiers shot fire into the caves to destroy Israelites who refused to give in to imperial rule. The first occasion was the imposition of Herod as king in 40 BCE, while the second was during the Roman-Jewish war of the mid-60s CE.

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What Does it Mean that Jesus “Apprenticed” with John the Baptist?


Re-posting this Lectionary reflection from 3 years ago on radicaldiscipleship.net written by Ched Myers.

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mark 1:4-5

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Wild Lectionary: Learn from the Fig Tree

PhotoAdvent 1B

Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37

By Jessica Miller

Many years ago, on a prairie in Michigan, I became a student of the landscape. Officially, I tracked phenology, or the study of seasonal phenomena. Mostly I would wander the tall grass, seeking changes in the flowers. Who is blooming? Who is senescing? Whose shoots are green and growing? Some days would be punctuated by the commanding, haunting, rolling trumpet-call of sandhill cranes. The sound yanked my head up out of the grass and up to the sky. Where were they coming from? Where were they going? Learning the birds and plants and just a tiny fraction of the invisible strings that tie them to the world (the temperature, the direction of the wind, the rising and setting of the sun) taught me how to listen to the Spirit. Where does she come from? Where is she going? You can never know for sure, and yet you can become familiar with her flight-paths. Continue reading

Challenging the Status Quo: Jesus Contests Scribal Authority

Healing_of_the_demon-possessedBy Ched Myers, Fourth Sunday in Epiphany (Mk 1:21-28)

This is an ongoing occasional series of Ched’s brief comments on the Markan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during year B.

The first major narrative section of Mark’s gospel begins (1:16) and ends (4:36) by the shores of the Sea of Galilee. In it Mark paints a portrait of Jesus’ public ministry in and around the Galilean city of Capernaum. This series of episodes exhibits the three essential characteristics of Jesus’ mission: the healing and exorcism of marginalized people, the proclamation of God’s sovereignty and the call to discipleship. These practices result in escalating confrontations with the local authorities, culminating with open conflict in 3:1ff.
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“Let’s Catch Some Big Fish!” Jesus’ Call to Discipleship in a World of Injustice

FishermenBy Ched Myers, Third Sunday in Epiphany (Mk 1:14-20)

This is an ongoing occasional series of Ched’s brief comments on the Markan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during year B.
The Sea of Galilee is the ecological and social setting of the first half of the gospel of Mark. A large freshwater lake about seven miles wide and 13 miles long, its shore is dotted with villages connected with the local fishing industry, the most prosperous segment of Galilee’s economy. The lake (also called Sea of Genneseret, Lake Kinneret or Lake Tiberius) is fed by the Jordan River, which flows in from the north and out to the south. Some 209 meters below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth. Due to this low-lying position in a rift valley, the sea is prone to sudden violent storms, as attested in the gospel stories.
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Baptized Into Our Bioregion

the-Baptism-of-JesusBy Ched Myers of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, hosting the Festival of Radical Discipleship in mid-February in Oak View, CA:

Yesterday, the First Sunday after Epiphany, was the Feast of Jesus’ Baptism. In the gospel reading, a particular preposition is used in refrain in Mark 1:9-12. Everyone else is baptized by John in the Jordan, but Jesus is baptized into the river (Gk, eis ton Iordanēn). Then that wild bird descends onto or into Jesus (eis auton). And right after this, Jesus journeys deep into the wilderness (eis tēn ‘eremon), on his “vision quest.”
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