prayer and commentary by Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin
Texts: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; Psalm 19:7-14; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50
Disclaimer Note: If you are using the Semi-continuous readings (Esther 7;1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 and Psalm 124) you are going to be wrestling with the story which is the origins of the Purim festival, a tale of threats, deception and victory claimed in the execution of an enemy. Beyond giving you caution that this tale can stir up feelings around abuse for survivors, especially during our present news cycle, I have no help for you this week. If you have no idea how the story might trigger folx, please don’t touch it. If you have a sense of the dangerous waters into which you are treading, you will be in my prayers as you preach and teach on the text.
Prayer of the Day
Teaching God, you nurture and shape us for life together with you and one another. Open our eyes and hearts to see the wisdom you grant us in elders and prophets from all corners of the community. Open our hearts to the partnerships you have designed for us with strangers and friends. May we always honor and value relationship with all who call upon your name.
I’m not sure how many of you might be using this text, so let’s just hit it first. It’s a text that falls solidly the camps of patriarchy and heteronormativity that raised the hair on the back of my neck when I started reading it. Though instead of ignoring it, the reading could be an opportunity to talk about how we read and understand the Bible - if that would be useful in your congregation.
by Pr. Elizabeth Rawlings
Proverbs 1 20:33
Now I know not everyone uses the semi-continuous readings, but if you can at all use this reading USE THIS READING. I mean, you could really just read this and then sit down and stare at people.
Wisdom is a black woman.
That’s what I kept thinking as I read this reading from Proverbs.
Black women have been telling us. They’ve been telling us about issues from poverty to failing schools to violence to maternal mortality rates to the 2016 presidential election (in which 95% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton because they knew what was about to happen).
But we (I write this as a white woman, so white folk, especially white women, I’m talking to us) haven’t been listening.