For What Do We Hope

Ken SehestedBy Ken Sehested (right with grandchildren), whose fluency tends toward poetic expression, in response to our 2019 question, “What is your definition of radical discipleship?”

 “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone
who demands from you an accounting for the hope
that is in you: yet do it in gentleness and reverence.”
—1 Peter 3:15-16

To your feet, you pilgrims of faith’s long journey! Stand and pledge your allegiance to that nation-supplanting Realm to come.

For what do we hope?

We hope for the Beloved’s Promise to overtake the world’s broken-hearted threat. Continue reading

Send me

imagesBy Ken Sehested

It was a time of great turmoil in the land. The Spirit of God bypassed all the famous leaders and came to me with a dream.

And I saw the Ruler of All Creation sitting on a throne, high and lofty, with majesty filling the sky as far as the eye could see.

Angels filled the air, shouting, “Holy, holy, holy! Just and Righteous and Merciful is God’s name!” Continue reading

Aftermath of the Great War’s Armistice

ArmisticeBy Ken Sehested

The Resurrection is the Beloved’s own
Armistice, intimate seal on ancient covenant,
when the rain’s own bow arches in the flood’s
aftermath as divine reminder, animus receding
by act of divine contrition:

Never again. Never again.*
No longer will Heaven respond with drowning
contempt over earth’s profaning habit. Divine
remorse calls out for creaturely requite. The
soil itself destined for fertile bounty’s return. Continue reading

Vote or Don’t: The Issues are Larger than Elections

VoteBy Ken Sehested

To my friends who question the value of voting, or have ethical qualms about choosing between the lesser of two evils: Vote, or don’t. Its significance will always lie somewhere between essential and useless. None of us is allowed to assess any action as ultimate—but that’s no license for skepticism or despondence.

Voting is such a small part of our commonwealth duty. I spend more time in grocery store lines every month than in polling stations every year. Elections are but the end result of an advocacy for the common good that starts in each watershed. Imagine a different future, find collaborators, and spend yourself extravagantly. Continue reading

Getting Soaked: A Meditation on the Recovery of Baptismal Integrity

COM baptism group 9.24.18 (1)By Ken Sehested, the curator of prayerandpolitiks.org, an online journal at the intersection of spiritual formation and prophetic action

Last week I wrote a quick note to my friend Kyle, who gets as excited about baptism as I do, to share the news.

“We’re baptizing seven of our youth group this coming Sunday. Is it OK to brag about this?”

“Yes,” he responded. Continue reading

Go out in joy

frances

By John August Swanson

A litany for worship adapted from St. Francis’ “Canticle of the Sun” and related Scripture texts

By Ken Sehested

What is it you wish to know, oh mortal one?

Do you think you must ascend to the highest heaven or descend to the deepest pit?

Do you not know that Wisdom has pitched a tent in your midst?

Ask the four-legged, and they will mentor you, or the winged-of-air, and they will school you;

Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.

Who does not know that the Gracious Host has done this?

In the Blessed One’s reach is the heart of every creature, the breath of every living thing.

Brother Sun declares the Beloved’s glory. His voice goes out o’er all the earth, his words to every inhabited place.

Sister Moon and stars pour forth speech to brighten the night in splendor and counsel.

Now hear the blessed promise of old, made new in your hearing:

May you go out in joy and be led back in peace, the hills bursting in song, the trees in applause!˙

©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org, adapted from Job 12:7-10, Psalm 19:1-4, Psalm 97:6, Isaiah 55:12 and St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun”