Epiphany’s provocation

Ken Sehested

We, of the majority caste, are largely innocents. By innocent
I mean clueless about the way history has privileged some
and impoverished others. If we are to move toward a future
beyond the fatal consequence of our transgressions, we
must lose our innocence, which includes much unlearning.
We have hard work to do, patient work, risky work, but
worthy, inspiring, hopeful work.

Take a hand. Make your vow. Gird your loins. Declare an
allegiance beyond the tip of your nose. Step over your
contented threshold and out of your comfort zone.
Prepare for turbulence, maybe threat. Make alliances
across racial and class and cultural boundaries.
Cultivate the kind of imagination needed to resist
cultural conformity and nationalist fervor.

Nurture a faith rooted deeply enough to withstand
inevitable seasons of drought and tempest. Brace yourself
for Epiphany’s provocation, confounding the coronation
of mammon protected by praetorian guards and backed
by courts of infamy. Refuse seating at tables Jesus flipped.
The Spirit’s manifest upends the assumptions of destiny
into which we have been nursed and versed.

Be a conscientious objector to the rule of the market. Set
your eyes on a horizon beyond every prognosticating
fate. Never forget that “history belongs to the intercessors.”*
Wielding the hammer of hope and the anvil of conviction,
the Spirit’s fire forges impossibility into re-possibility.
Devote yourself to habits prophesying the age when mercy
trumps vengeance.

These are our disciplines, and sometimes they are
arduous. But they are not imposed by a divine
taskmaster. They are the overflow of joy, the product of
ecstatic vision capable of tracing Creation’s promise, to
Resurrection’s assurance, recollecting the Prophet’s
assertion that wolf and lamb will lie shorn of threat and
the Revelator’s conclusion that, one day, death will be
no more.

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*cf. Walter Wink, “History Belongs to the Intercessors” in
“Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a
World of Domination”