Most ordinary of days

A prose poem for "Ordinary Time"

by Ken Sehested

There are, to be sure, moments of high drama in the work of holy obedience:
      marches to be made, confrontations to be staged, dangers to be endured,
      corruption to be exposed, trips made to distant or unfamiliar places,
      occasional rackets to be raised, maybe even jail cells to be filled.

On rare occasions, the whole world is watching. Read more ›

Lamentations’ call to arms

A poem inspired by the book of Lamentations (especially chapter three)

by Ken Sehested

Turn off (what passes for) the news.
Boycott the season’s electoral charades.
Don’t give in to Pokémon’s promise of
“augmented reality.” Attend instead to
unmitigated reality: bloodied, stricken
and strewn. Offer grief the hearing it
demands, the voice it obliges, and
Read more ›

Prayers while throwing stuff

Pondering grief from Baghdad to Baton Rouge, Medina to Minneapolis, Dhaka to Dallas (and points in between)

by Ken Sehested

We each pray for different
reasons in different seasons,
too often steady-headed,
manners-minded, when
indelicacy is now needed
        —prayers while throwing
        stuff against the wall—

Read more ›

This Is My Song

New lyrics to an old song

by Ken Sehested

O Truth Untamed, all boundaries bow before You
All borders bend according to your Word
O grant that every bitter heart be harbored
In sheltered cove, with Mercy’s flag unfurled
Hearken and haste, Desire of every nation
Refresh the heart of hope too long deferred. Read more ›

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee

Alternate lyrics

My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

We are a people free, joining in liberty our many throngs.
Through much diversity, grant solidarity,
Turning from enmity in joyful song. Read more ›

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi

Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29)

by Ken Sehested

Does the Lamb of God truly take away
the sins of the world? The question is
more than a forensic exercise. The
question brings us to a momentous
fork in the road. Read more ›

Summon your nerve

A call to the table on Pentecost Sunday

by Ken Sehested

I would love to think approaching
this table conferred visions of
leisurely picnics in green meadows
beside gentle bubbling streams,
with cooling breeze matched by
warm sunshine and birdsong in
nearby long leaf pine and hemlock. Read more ›

Earth’s habitus

A meditation on creation

by Ken Sehested

“All of creation is a song of praise to God.” —Hildegard of Bingen

Creation is not simply the props and drops,
the costumes and orchestra,
the catwalks and footlights
on the stage of salvation’s drama.
Read more ›

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

New lyrics to an old hymn

by Ken Sehested

My Shepherd will supply my need; Beloved is God’s name
In pasture’s fresh now I shall feed, Beside the living stream
You bring my wandering spirit back, When I forsake the Way
You gather me, for mercy’s sake, In paths of truth and grace

When shadows cast the shade of death Your presence is my stay
Read more ›