By Ken Sehested, 9 July 2017, Circle of Mercy Congregation, Asheville, NC
Text: Psalm 72
(The text below has been expanded from the original sermon.)
Not so long ago a sermon on religious liberty would likely provoke yawns. The widespread and diverse claims of “religious freedom” are so common and unquestioned in our culture, they mostly go without notice. (Which, if anything, may be testimony to how tamed our assumptions have become.) Continue reading
By Ken Sehested
My earliest memory of Memorial Day is of my Dad, puttering in his garage shop (he was a mechanic and jack-of-all-trades fixer-upper) on a rare day off from work, listing to the Indianapolis 500 car race on a portable radio. On one of those occasions I remember using a hammer, and the concrete garage floor, helping him straighten nails for reuse.
Both my parents were children of the Depression. Thrift was a primal virtue even when it was no longer a necessity.
I have no doubt Dad would silently recall some of his war-time experience while enduring the monotony of listening to race cars doing 200 laps around an oval track at speeds in excess of 200 mph. He managed to survive being in the first wave of troops landing at Omaha Beach in the 1944 D-Day invasion of Europe, though I can remember only once in my life when he talked about those days. I was an adult before I knew he carried a bit of 88mm German artillery shrapnel, bone-embedded, behind his right ear.
By Ken Sehested
Pacem, pacem, pacem in terris
Easter’s focus is always sharper when allied with Earth Day. We sing, properly, of being wayfaring strangers. “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor” (Deuteronomy 26:5) is among the oldest testimonies of fate and faith. An alternate translation—“A Syrian ready to perish was my ancestor”—brings added poignancy to the text
We are indeed strangers; but not foreigners. In common usage these two words seem similar. Biblically speaking, though, the theological difference could not be greater. Continue reading
By Ken Sehested, the editor and author of prayerandpolitiks.org, an online journal at the intersection of spiritual formation and prophetic action
Easter resurrection is never as assured
as the arrival of Easter bunnies.
Clothiers and chocolate-makers alike yearn
for the season no less than every cleric.
And yet, in my experience, the Spirit
rarely blows according to the calendar,
much less on demand. Continue reading
From Ken Sehested over at Prayer & Politiks:
By Ken Sehested, of Prayer & Politiks, written for an ecumenical “Service of Lament and Healing” following the August 2014 killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, MO. Inspired by Ps 6:6; 42:3; 80:5; 102:9; Luke 7:38
Who among you believe that
grieving and lamentation
are symptoms of despair.
Only the hopeless are silent
in the face of calamity—
silenced because they no
longer aspire even to be heard,
much less heeded. The labor
of lament, on the other hand,
is premised on the expectation
that grief’s rule will be bound
by the Advent of Another. Continue reading