Litanies & Prayers

Instruction on freedom’s demands

A litany for worship, inspired by Exodus 20

by Ken Sehested

After fleeing Pharaoh’s slavery through
the Red Sea’s baptism, the people of the
Most High assembled in covenant assembly
at the mountain of promise for instruction
in freedom’s demands.

Abandon every god of metal:
      whether nation or spear or bandolier,
      each Tomahawk and Trident,
      every nuclear racketeer.
Do not sanction your vengeance by
      the Name of the Beloved.

Border the harvest of your production
      with fallow sabbath rest.
Not all of life can be monetized.

Honor your father from whose seed you now flourish;
hallow your mother, whose womb issued breath.

      Do no murder:
            life is not yours to take.
      Don’t stoop to infidelity:
            no body is available for frivolous consumption.
      Steal not:
            or you destroy life’s fabric.
      Slander not:
            you’ll poison life’s well.
      Covet not:
            your own health is tied up with
            that of your neighbor.

Let not threat of sword nor promise of reward
      cause you to forget this holy accord.

For this, now, is your creed:
      Once slaved, now freed.
            As liberated from greed,
                  by righteousness proceed.

©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org