Wild Lectionary: Thomas, Bodies, Touch, and Violence

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Hold Fast by Thor (Creative Commons License)

Easter 2(B)
John 20:19-31

By Laurel Dykstra

“Doubting Thomas” it’s the name we call someone who demands hard evidence, who won’t accept what we say or who doesn’t share our beliefs.

There are all kinds opportunities in the church use that name against someone. All sorts of differences in the beliefs of faithful Christians: angels, auras, miracles, marriage, dinosaurs, women disciples, Adam and Eve, Noah, what prayer is, what happens during a sacrament, what salvation means, what parts of the creeds we say with confidence and, perhaps most pertinent here, how we understand the resurrection. Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Thomas, Bodies, Touch, and Violence”

Wild Lectionary: Snow and Sunshine

IMG_2188.jpgProper 27(32) B
25th Sunday after Pentecost

Hebrews 9:24-28
By Jamie Johnstad
The darkness of winter seemed to come early this year, where my family lives along the Catfish Creek Watershed, about two miles upstream from where the creek connects with the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa.  The days many people here describe as their favorite time of the year — those sunny, crisp, fall days — were few and far between, as the rain fell heavy and often.  The fall leaves seemed to move from green to brown quickly, with too few of the stunning colors in between, then to fall to the ground as compost.  Our frequent hikes down the trails are muddy under cloud-covered skies, making the early dusk of November seem especially dark.  The only things that seemed to hold onto their leaves are the invasive shrubs that permeate our woods.  Last year at this time, the beauty of fall made me forget about the invasive species removal we need to do, the prairie we need to restore, the buckthorn growing under and hiding the beautiful oaks in a field of ours.

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Snow and Sunshine”

Wild Lectionary: Dry Seed and Soil

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Dawn, Yukon, 2001 by Tia McLennan

Proper 26(31) B
24th Sunday after Pentecost

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them;

Psalm 146:5-6

By Juleta Severson-Baker

Psalm 146

Everyone who turns around to look for God is dancing

Every word spoken of God’s love is a poem

Every name pinned on the mystery of God is a metaphor

I will not put my trust in the parts of the whole
I will praise the whole Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Dry Seed and Soil”

Wild Lectionary: Persistent Truth-Telling and Way-Making Disciples

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Found on https://ecoamerica.org

Proper 25(30) B
23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 10:46-52

By Rev. Miriam Spies

As a woman who lives with a disability (Cerebral Palsy), I have a complicated relationship with healing stories in our scriptures. I tend to read physical healing stories as restoring people into life in community, and restoring community to live as a whole. That being said, the story of Bartimaeus is a call story, as well as a healing story, demonstrating it requires truth-telling even and especially in our vulnerability to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Colleen Grant writes,

“There is also another type of healing story found in the Gospels, a type that shifts the focus from Jesus to the individual being healed.  Its aim is to communicate something about the nature of discipleship and the necessity of having faith in Jesus.  Thus, upon healing blind Bartimaeus, Jesus tells him, ‘Go, your faith has made you well’.  At these words, Bartimaeus regains his sight and he assumes the quality of a disciple, that is, he follows Jesus on the way.” (74) Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Persistent Truth-Telling and Way-Making Disciples”

Wild Lectionary: Wild God, Wild Beauty

DSC01830.JPGProper 24 (29)B
22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Job 38:1-7, 34-41

By Wendy Janzen

The the first reading and Psalm for this Sunday are both creation texts – passages that describe God’s amazing work in creating the cosmos. The text from Jobs is part of the longest passage in the bible about more-than-human creation (Job 38-42). It is written in exquisitely beautiful poetry, and it is God’s rhetorical answer to Job’s probing questions about God’s justice – why bad things happen to good people. Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Wild God, Wild Beauty”

Wild Lectionary: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!

shaggy manes
shaggy manes

Proper 23(28) B
21st Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 10:17-31

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

This week’s Gospel from Mark is a familiar one, in which a rich man comes to Jesus seeking the path to inheriting “eternal life.” As Ched Myers noted three decades ago now (!), the key to the story is the “ringer” command Jesus adds to the familiar ones from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 6: “You shall not defraud [Gk, apostereō].” Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!”

Wild Lectionary: Three Stories

bamboo-forest-background.jpgProper 22(27) B
20th Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 2:18-24
Psalm 8
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16

By Jessica Miller

I find this weeks’ lectionary difficult to read because more than one of these passages have been used violently… or are used violently. Let’s be honest: These passages have been used to justify the oppression and rape of nature, to reinforce patriarchal dominance, to ostracize divorced persons, and to clobber queer people with hate, asserting they are not a part of God’s original design. Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Three Stories”

Wild Lectionary: Singing to Remain

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Art by Aliesha Shutte

Renewing Corporate Memory for our Ecological Dark Night

Proper 21(26) B
19th Sunday after Pentecost

By Jason Wood

Psalm 124

One of the things I’ve struggled the most with in singing contemporary worship songs is the almost exclusive focus on “me.” If you grew up like I did in a variety of evangelical churches, we tended to sing a lot of songs about how “I could sing of your love forever,” or how God “set me free,” or “here I am to worship.” And I really don’t mean to bash that, because there’s a lot that’s beautiful about reminding ourselves of the deeply personal and intimate love of God. The Christian faith proclaims: God does love me, and because of that I can live a transformed life. Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Singing to Remain”

Wild Lectionary: What is a good wife anyways?

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Photo by Caitlin Reilley Beck

18th Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 20 (25)B

Proverbs 31:10-31

By Caitlin Reilley Beck

A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-11

This passage makes it clear who is writing Scripture and who isn’t. It reads like the vision board of the patriarchy, and capitalism for that matter, though it doesn’t originate in this economic system. According to this reading, the dream is to have a wife who will do a thousand different things – truly she is  one who works to “have it all.” Except, surprise, surprise, she only gets “a share in the fruit of her hands” (31:31). If this is the Bible’s job posting for being a wife in a straight, monogamous marriage, it could use some workshopping because it is not very appealing. Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: What is a good wife anyways?”

Wild Lectionary: Today, Know This

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Photo credit: Kit Ng

16th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 18(23) B

Proverbs 22

By Robert O. Smith

Proverbs of the elders. Received wisdom. The common sense of the ages. Men speaking to men, warning of loose women. Disjointed aphorisms, speaking against the Other, made know to us today.

Continue reading “Wild Lectionary: Today, Know This”