Advent, Christmas, Epiphany calls to worship

by Ken Sehested

First Sunday advent

Blessed be your name, Beloved, who makes a way out of no way. Draw near unto us, for we live in a season of darkened sun, veiled moon, scattered stars, embattled news. Heaven itself shudders. Our bread is kneaded with sighs, and tears fill our cup. Let the light of your countenance return, with the grain and the grape, communion’s feast whereby we remember your purpose, your promise, your provision, and we again rejoice in your illuminating presence and resplendent glory.

 

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An Emmaen prayer

by Ken Sehested

“He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”
—Luke 24:35, story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus following Jesus’ execution

 

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Come into the desert

A midrash on the story of Jesus' post-baptismal journey into the desert

by Ken Sehested

The time has come to flee Pharaoh’s national security state for the insecurity of the wilderness.

Led by the Spirit and sustained by angels, we head to the desert for a throw-down with the Devil.

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Come into the desert

A midrash on the story of Jesus' post-baptismal journey into the desert

by Ken Sehested

The time has come to flee Pharaoh’s national security state for the insecurity of the wilderness.

Led by the Spirit and sustained by angels, we head to the desert for a throw-down with the Devil.

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All Saints Day

A litany for worship

by Ken Sehested

The saints of old don’t wear golden crowns, or sit on lofty perch, mouthing caustic comments on how poorly we yet-mortal souls measure up to the glory of days past.

They, too, knew about keeping hope alive while getting dinner on the table, faucets fixed, carpools covered, and budgets balanced.

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Make us audacious

A Reformation Sunday prayer, inspired by John 3:1-8

by Ken Sehested
Note: On Reformation Sunday, 1981, my wife Nancy and I were jointly ordained to the ministry. The choice of Reformation Sunday was intentional.

Beloved, Who beckons us with the aroma of baking bread, Whose breast offers milk and sweet honey, Who showers manna in the wilderness, with fresh water from sheer rock, and instruction from the mountain.

We give thanks for our baptismal trek through the sea, on the road from slavery to freedom.

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Buttered hot biscuits

Inspired by Romans 12:9-21

Sisters and brothers: Before we get down to business, wrestling with what the Spirit has to say today, let’s do some stretching exercises. Don’t want any muscle strains in the house of the Beloved. Easy does it—bend and stretch and tip-toe fetch.

Love from your devotion, not from your ambition.

Be quick to praise, slow to blame.

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Go tell John

A litany for worship inspired by Matthew 11:1-6

by Ken Sehested

The disciples of John came to Jesus saying, “Dude, what’s up with this? John’s in prison, and you’re out here lollygagging in the boondocks! John wants to know when the revolution is getting underway. Are you the Man-in-Charge or not?!”

Jesus said to them, “Go tell John what you see and hear.”

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