For that Bright Land

A litany for worship inspired by Romans 8:18-27

by Ken Sehested

We enter this house of meeting with lips pursed in praise, voicing rejoicing, hearts heaving to the rhythm of mercy and the beat of beatitude.

’Cause we woke up this morning with our minds stayed on freedom. And stayed on Jesus.

Stayed on freedom, about which politicians banter but secretly fear.

Stayed on Jesus, who moves among us, incognito, inviting, enticing, calling from the margins: Over here! Follow me!

Sister and brothers, why are we here, again, week after bloody week, weak after so much weary, warring news?

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.

It’s my neighbor, it’s my nation, its creation that’s groaning, standing in the need of prayer.

Groaning with sighs too deep for words, singing our woebegone songs for the world that is promised from beyond every prediction,

beyond every market forecast, beyond every rule of engagement, beyond—at times—even our own faltering faith.

It is for that Bright Land that we intercede!

Its merciful manna is ours to neither hoard nor dispense. We are not its border guards.

All are immigrants to that Beloved Community into whose citizenship we are invited, for whose establishment we are committed, by whose joyful refrain our tongues cannot be restrained.

©ken sehested @