Westview Christian Fellowship
Rereading Scripture with the Pregnant Self - Caleb Ratzlaff

Rereading Scripture with the Pregnant Self - Caleb Ratzlaff

May 10, 2022

Recorded on May 8th: Mothers sacrifice their own bodies for the sake of the child they carry within them. There is a parallel here with Christ’s suffering on the cross. I wouldn’t say that the mother is a victim, indeed, this is probably the wrong way to characterize the experience, but she does sacrifice herself, her own body, for the sake of another.

What I think we’re asked to do when we participate in communion is to remember how we are all pregnant with each other. The more we live into this reality -- the reality that we are codependent on others -- the more we will find ourselves inevitably drawn to interpret the world, and the stories we tell to make sense of the world, through the eyes of the oppressed. 

Rereading the Stories we Tell to Make Sense of the World with Caleb Ratzlaff

Rereading the Stories we Tell to Make Sense of the World with Caleb Ratzlaff

May 9, 2022

Recorded May 1, 2022. As Christ is rereading Scripture, the hearts of the two men on the road to Emmaus burn within them. They’re burning because they’re learning about themselves and what it means to be Jewish to a way that makes sense of the Easter event. 

 

As we reread the stories we tell about what it means to be Christian through Christ's eyes, we shouldn't be surprised to find that the stranger or non-Christian has been the host all along. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, it us who are the recipients of the other's hospitality. 



Who Does Christ Receive his Authority From? - with Caleb Ratzlaff

Who Does Christ Receive his Authority From? - with Caleb Ratzlaff

April 14, 2022

Recorded on April 10.

Who Does Christ Receive his Authority From? Answer: Mary of Bethany. 

The supper with Mary doesn’t look great. We have a bunch of men sitting around a table eating being served by two women, and then one of those women washes the main guy's feet only to have Judas mansplain to her why what she’s doing is wrong. This is patriarchy at its worst. 

How does Jesus respond to this patriarchy?

Disrupting Business as Usual with Guest Patty Krawec

Disrupting Business as Usual with Guest Patty Krawec

April 14, 2022

Recorded on March 20th at Westview. A few months back Patty Krawec tweeted a challenge to churches to have her speak on the table-flipping scene in the gospels. Westview and Silver Spire United took her up on the challenge. We were very grateful for the opportunity to hear and dialogue with Patty on Sunday.

You can find a video of her sharing on Silver Spire here and a transcript of her talk on her website.

Patty Krawec is an Anishinaabe/Ukrainian writer and speaker from Lac Seul First Nation. She is a current board member of the Fort Erie Native Friendship Center. She is the cohost of the Medicine for the Resistance podcast and cofounder of the Nii’kinaaganaa Foundation, which collects funds and disperses them to Indigenous people and organizations. Her work has been published in Sojourners, Rampant Magazine, and Midnight Sun. She also posts podcasts and essays about books on Substack. Her book, Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future, will be published in September by Broadleaf Books and is now available for pre-order. Krawec attends Chippawa Presbyterian Church and lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Find her on Twitter @gindaanis.

Stopping the Repetitious Violence of the Cross - Palm Sunday with Caleb Ratzlaff

Stopping the Repetitious Violence of the Cross - Palm Sunday with Caleb Ratzlaff

March 21, 2022

Recorded on March 13, 2022: As the Israelites celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, they do so hoping he will save them for colonial rule. The crowd, however, has forgotten what humble leadership looks like. When Christ does the work of a humble king, his humility makes him look more like a loser than a saviour and so the crowd rejects him.

 

Disturbing business as usual during Lent is done so that I better recognize the ways my life and actions parallel that of Rome, the colonizer. In this way, Lent helps me prepare for Easter.  Lent, for me, is a time to disturb business as usual so that when I encounter the living Christ today -- in the world, in nature, in others -- I don’t hang that Christ on a cross I've helped construct. 

 

Holding Space with Will Klassen

Holding Space with Will Klassen

March 19, 2022

Recorded on Feb. 26th 2022: Will Klassen talks about letting go so we can all participate in outcomes. 

Love’s Open Ended Ongoing Call of Embodiment, 1 Corinthians 15 with Caleb Ratzlaff

Love’s Open Ended Ongoing Call of Embodiment, 1 Corinthians 15 with Caleb Ratzlaff

March 3, 2022

Recorded on Feb. 20, 2022.

I tend to believe that we’re all saved. Paul’s helpful for me because I believe that love calls to all, nothing we can do changes that fact: Jonah travels to the underworld, the teacher of Ecclesiastes losses the faith and blames God for all the evil in the world and yet the call to love finds them both.

In this sense, we’re all, from the beginning, regardless of our actions or beliefs, in the process of being saved.

Unfortunately, some chose not to believe the lie that they are not worthy of love, or they chose to believe that they and their religious cult are the only ones worthy of love and in so doing ignore the call of love by other means.

Submitting to the call of love is an ongoing process. Love is an open-ended invitation that is always in excess. It calls from mystery into mystery or in Paul's terms it is the eternal, or heaven or the spiritual realm that calls to be embodied in the earthly and concrete.

It’s All Too Much: Ecclesiastes with Caleb Ratzlaff

It’s All Too Much: Ecclesiastes with Caleb Ratzlaff

February 25, 2022

Recorded Feb. 13, 2022. Here Caleb gives an overview of Ecclesiastes, attempting to wrestle something meaningful from the meaninglessness of life.

All our actions are never enough. We eat, we sleep, we die, we're forgotten and it's God's fault.

Like the teacher of Ecclesiastes, Christ experiences alienation from God. It's possible to reread the ending of Ecclesiastes and a Christ-follower as follows: "What should we do when we're angry at God? When we’re confused and rightfully blame God for creating a world with overwhelming challenges? What should we do when we feel a weariness onto death caused by racism, sexism, war, climate change, and homophobia? The narrator calls us to carry on following Christ’s commandment  - love one another as I have loved you, even after you’ve lost your faith.

Saved by an Abundance of Fish - Luke 5 - with Caleb Ratzlaff

Saved by an Abundance of Fish - Luke 5 - with Caleb Ratzlaff

February 18, 2022

Recorded on Feb. 6, 2022. On a systemic level, Jesus’ first followers are driven by oppression and subsistence living to leave everything and follow him. The first disciples don’t fully understand the practical consequences of Jesus’ life of abundance — life is a gift meant to be shared. Jesus’ teaching and fishing tips offer an alternative to the disciples’ politics of fear and scarcity. Such an alternative is more than enough to convince the disciples to leave their subsistence work and follow a teacher who will lead them places they may not have anticipated.

The Parable of Jonah and the Fish, Part 2 with Caleb Ratzlaff

The Parable of Jonah and the Fish, Part 2 with Caleb Ratzlaff

January 25, 2022

The Parable of Jonah and the Fish, Part 2 - a plagiarized sermon by Caleb Ratzlaff

Recorded on Jan. 23, 2022. 

Caleb, using material from the podcast The Bible for Normal People, introduces the theme of justice in the book of Jonah. Specifically, Caleb asks along with the book, if justice looks more like punishment or mercy and what does repentance have to do it?  By stressing mercy, the book of Jonah provides a counterbalance to other prophetic Old Testament texts that seem to lean towards punishment. That the Bible itself struggles with this tension within justice, between judgement and mercy, calls us to grapple with this same question. How do we judge well while believing that justice bends towards mercy? 

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App