Articles, Essays & Sermons

Two epiphanies on 6 January 2021

The Spirit’s disclosure and the nation’s exposure

by Ken Sehested

 

By now you may have noticed the odd coincidence of 6 January [2021] being the date of Epiphany and of Congress’ ritual of announcing the results of the Electoral College’s presidential election tally.

The latter is usually perfunctory, pro forma, pomp and ceremony. Not this time, given Republican representatives’ and senators’ announced intention to challenge the states’ votes. (Strange how a party committed to states’ rights could so easily shed that principle.) Read more ›

Dr. King and the constellating light

Admiring Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is not the same as being captured by it

by Ken Sehested

Admiring Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is not the same as being captured by it. Too many find it possible to respect the man but relinquish the mission. It has become too easy to revere the dreamer but renege on the dream. So let us now recall the deep roots of that vision as spoken in ages past:

We remember when Hannah praised God by saying: The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.

We dream of the day when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb. For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Read more ›

Nevertheless

The Spirit’s plea from above whispered by voices from below

by Ken Sehested
US Presidential Inauguration • 20 January 2021

In the spring of 2016, when our pastors were planning the preaching schedule for the fall, I agreed to take that duty for Sunday 13 November. None of us were paying attention to the electoral calendar.

Long story short, it turns out I was preaching the Sunday after Donald Trump's election. Read more ›

Angel wings and devil tails

Meditation on the Feast of the Holy Innocents

by Ken Sehested

The Feast of the Holy Innocents (aka Childermas or Innocents’ Day), referencing Matthew’s account of Judean King Herod’s order to kill all the male babies in and around Bethlehem to suppress a potential rival, was first established in the fifth century BCE. Some Christian communions in the West mark the day, officially, on 28 December; in the East, 29 December.

However, the observance is largely forgotten in most congregations. You can understand why. Who wants to interrupt chirpy carols, the sight of ornamented trees and light-lit homes, and post-Christmas sales with the story of a massacre of babies?

Needless to say, few if any church Christmas pageants, with kids in bathrobes and assorted other makeshift costumes, include Matthew 2’s story. Christmas Eve candlelight services ignore this Nativity story. Read more ›

Again I say rejoice

More is at work than we can see

by Ken Sehested

It’s been a bit more than a week since the Christian community celebrated “Gaudete (“Rejoice”) Sunday.” More properly, a Gaudete service should be observed every 22 December, the longest dark night of the year, Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere—six months later in the Southern). As a way of testifying to the conviction that what is promised is more than what is evident; more is at work than we can see.

Truth is, People of the Book share some values with our Pagan friends in their earth-based spirituality. Christians’ most distinctive conviction is that of the Incarnation, the materiality of the Creator in Creation’s flesh and blood.

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