Wild Lectionary: For What Do We Give Thanks?

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Make a joyful noise Laurel Dykstra

Proper 23(28) C

Luke 17:8-11
Psalm 66:1-12

He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. (Luke 16.16)

The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” (Luke 18.11)

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Gratitude is a hot topic these days. Along with “mindfulness,” “self-care,” and other practices frequently promoted in books, apps and videos, gratitude has been “discovered” by people longing for relief from the anxieties and confusions of corporate capitalist culture and its desecration of life. But this week’s Gospel calls us to consider: for what, exactly, are we grateful?

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Wild Lectionary: Is This Not Prayer?

image003Proper 22(27) C
2 Timothy 1:1-14

By Christina Thomson

A while back, I listened to an On Being podcast with Krista Tippett interviewing Seane Corn. The guest, Seane, is a yogi and teacher for many, as well as the focus of a little envy on my side because of her amazing locks. In the podcast, named Yoga, Meditation in Action, she tells a personal story of a way she prays that I had not considered before: a fully embodied prayer, going through sun salutations, holding grateful and positive intentions for a loved one. In that moment, she granted me words for a feeling I had experienced many times, in many places and in many ways. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Hope in Worthless Places and Common Life

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“Abandoned Lot at 1400 Avenue E North” by Wendy Cooper

Proper 22, Year C

By Ragan Sutterfield

A couple of weeks ago I went on a birding tour of Monterey Bay. My guide on the trip was Debra Shearwater, a legend in the bird watching world, who has guided birders through those waters for over forty years. It was her birthday and it was the last season she would be leading pelagic tours.

As we watched the shearwaters, albatrosses, and murre’s of the bay, Shearwater told us about the changes she had seen. The water, she said, has changed color over the years. The krill populations have crashed and so fewer Blue Whales are seen. Over the last nesting season, large numbers of ocean-going birds had complete nesting failures, many of them not even bothering to lay eggs. “Go see them while you can,” she said, “especially the Northern birds, they are disappearing quickly.”

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Wild Lectionary: Teach Me Wisdom in My Secret Heart

products with palm oilProper 19(24)

Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 51
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

The words, “Your people… have acted perversely” could literally be stated today as “Your people are acting perversely.” Those words from Exodus are as applicable today as they were at the time that book of the Bible was written. Modern society has made idols of acquisition and consumption fed by greed for money and/or lust for power and prestige. Like Paul, in the first letter to Timothy, many of us “have acted ignorantly” in our complicity and support of these perverse systems that harm people and our relatives in creation. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Choosing Life in the Context of Climate Change

69907266_10156534406631146_7098887487753289728_nProper 16(21)C

By Zoë Tobin Peterson

I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19

Growing up in Vancouver, a “green city,” I have been at the forefront of a shift towards choosing life. A shift towards environmental consciousness; but consciousness isn’t always enough. We can say we choose life all we want but until there is action behind it nothing is going to change. Our reasons for action matter as well, as they determine the proportions of the actions we take. If our intentions are to save the world for our generation alone, long-term changes just aren’t going to be made. Are we choosing life out of spite? Necessity? Validation? Love? Or are we acting because we see the Earth as more than just a witness?

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Wild Lectionary: Invitation to Humility – Invite Grasses

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Children learning about biodiversity and native plants at New Life Lutheran’s summer gardening camp. Photo by Greg McCord

Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost,
Proper 17 (22)

Luke 14:1, 7-14
By Carmen Retzlaff

14:11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

In Central Texas, one of the signs that a local naturalist has slipped over the edge, into the rocky and nerdy social territory,  is when they fall in love with native grasses. First they will just marvel at the indigenous bunch grasses. They’ll recognize a healthy grassland, where these compact plants take just the compact space they need, and allow for biodiversity, as opposed to invasive grasses, which blanket the earth and keep other things from growing. The grass-enamored naturalist will smile when they see patches of side oats grama or bushy bluestem, knowing how deep the roots extend into the clay and limestone, pulling precious rainwater into acquifers. They’ll be mesmerized by the sight of swaths of purple-tinged seep muhly. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Agency, Age, and Attentiveness to Power

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Photo from Salal and Cedar

Proper 16 C
Jeremiah 1:4-10

By Rachael Bullock

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Continue reading