On this final Sunday of Easter we continue reading the Gospel of John, from chapters 15-21, finishing the farewell meal, and moving through Jesus’ arrest, trial, death, and resurrection appearances. It has been an interesting experience reading through the Gospels in canonical order – hard to go through Jesus’ death in four different tellings of the story. The Johannine telling of Jesus’ story puts a different spin on things. In John 15:15: “Jesus said, ‘No longer do I call you servants … but … friends for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.'” And, as Sloyan winds up, “The great matter is to give the witness required: truthful, faithful witness. Not the lying witness of an inauthentic life but the Jesus-like testimony of a career – long or short – that is alethinos: genuine, real. True with the truth of God.” (p. 233)
How do you witness to God’s truth in your life?
This week we read Part 3, “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 5, “The Three Productivity Behaviors” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. Rettig names these behaviors as: “showing up to work exactly when you are supposed to; instantly starting the work you are supposed to be doing; and staying focused on the work for an hour or more.” I’m not sure if I completely agree with her, but generally do agree that aspiring to those habits can help one build discipline, which is helpful when it comes to sticking with things that may not be so pleasant in the short-term but may yield substantial long-term results.
Have you implemented the above productivity behaviors into your life? How? And how do they work or not work for you?
As we begin June, which is is LBGTQIA+ Pride Month, I would be remiss if I failed to point out the many LBGTQIA+ – affirming spiritual, devotional, and prayer resources available (see resources at the end of this post for a list). For our spiritual practice for the next couple months we will be reading Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey, as she puts it, “the only out African American ordained queer lesbian elder in the United Methodist Church.” (p. xiv) “Now it is time for Lesbian, Queer, Intersexed, and [Transgender] womanists to stand in solidarity on the values already set in place within womanst theology. Not the least of those values is loving themselves and the folk – the responsibility of being in right relationship with one another. To do so, we must be unashamed of our difference and willing to put our scholarship not so much “where our mouth is” but rather, where our love is.” (p. xiii)
Where is your love, and how does that influence your curiosity about the world and what you study?
C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss this book and whatever else is on your mind or heart!
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Aston, John. “Paraclete.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5.
- Berge, Paul S. “Easter to Trinity with the Gospel of John: Bearing Witness to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Word & World XVIII.2 (1998): 207-216. https://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/18-2_Ecumenism/18-2_Berge.pdf.
- Brussat, Frederic and Mary Ann. “Easter: Resurrection as a Spiritual Practice,” March 28, 2013.
- ExploreFaith.org. “The Divine Hours: A Complete Guide to the Ancient Practice of Fixed-Hour Prayer,” accessed May 6, 2019. http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/prayer/fixed/index.php
- Goss, R. Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up, 2002.
- Guest, Deryn. The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
- Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Transfigured: A 40-Day Journey through Scripture for Gender-Queer and Transgender People. D.H. Strategies, 2018.
- Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Where True Love Is: An Affirming Devotional for LGBTQI+ Individuals and Their Allies. D.H. Strategies, n.d.
- Isherwood, Lisa. “Queer Theology.” Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- Koester, Craig. “Enter the Bible: John,” n.d.
- Lightsey, Pamela R. Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2015.
- Loughlin, G. Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, 2007.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. “The Problem You Should Be Solving” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006.
- Sloyan, Gerard Stephen. John. Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1988.
- White, L. Michael. Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2010.