Upside Down; Right Side Up

For many of us, the world has never felt more upside down than it does in these days. I struggle to make sense of current events. A solar eclipse this past week felt well timed. The past 9 months or so have felt particularly upside down in our political world that impacts each person quite personally, though sometimes disproportionately.

In The Queer Bible Commentary, scholar Timothy Koch refers to Isaiah as one of the “queerest” books in the Bible because of Isaiah’s ongoing themes of unexpected and strange realities, especially “a little child will lead them” and “the wolf will lie down with the lamb” from chapter 11, and God’s declaration that God’s house that was formerly exclusive will now be “a house of prayer for all peoples” from chapter 56.

Isaiah is all about a not yet known reality. This may appear upside down and backwards from the ways we know chains of command, food chains, and self-imposed religiously based exclusivism to work.

Maybe Isaiah’s vision is not upside down. Maybe Isaiah’s vision is the world right side up- a vision of God making a new Heaven and a new Earth restored to shalom for all.

Even in these tiresome and frightening days, let us continue to find ways to partner with God in making the world a little more queer with uncommon chesed, loving-kindness, and a little more right side up with justice.

“I [God] will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters [to those who have been previously excluded]; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” -Isaiah 56:5, NRSV


art by Eric Carle


A Litany Against White Supremacy

Pastor Jennifer Preaching

As Charlottesville, VA becomes the focal point of white supremacy and those who stand against it, this litany was prepared by myself and Pastor Elizabeth Rawlings for use in worship.

Litany against white supremacy

Gracious and loving God,

In the beginning, you created humanity and declared us very good

We were made in Africa, came out of Egypt.

Our beginnings, all of our beginnings, are rooted in dark skin.

We are all siblings. We are all related.

We are all your children.

We are all siblings, we are all related, we are all your children.

Violence entered creation through Cain and Abel.

Born of jealousy, rooted in fear of scarcity,

Brother turned against brother

The soil soaked with blood, Cain asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?

We are all siblings, we are all related, we are our brothers keeper.

When your people cried out in slavery,

You heard them…

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