In this follow-up work to his earlier In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public, Kenneth L. Sehested sustains his evocative poetic imagination and capacity ""for finding the right text at the right time,"" as Walter Brueggemann notes in his foreword. Sehested, an award-winning author and activist as well as a poet, pastor, and sometime stonemason, knows that serious thinking about Jesus is transacted on the road and then translated in liturgy to provoke the kind of praise that rankles the world (as it is) with a foretaste of what it might be. Most of the pieces in this work have been used first in worship in his own Circle of Mercy Congregation. ""This book is a great gift,"" Brueggemann writes, and ""it issues in a calling that befits the coming rule of God."" Or, as Sehested writes in his meditation on John the Baptizer, ""There's no getting right with God. There's only getting soaked."" ""In crafting these thoughtful and elegant psalms, prayers, and poems, Ken Sehested draws on two deep wells. One is Scripture, the blade and balm of which he restores through creative midrash, paraphrase, and reimagination. The other is his own long history of faithful engagement--as activist in the world, and pastor in the church--which has shaped these lines like wind and water. We use Ken's work regularly for household prayers, community liturgies, and public protests, and commend it as reliable accompaniment to the rhythms of life and faith."" --Ched Myers, author of Our God Is Undocumented ""Since Moses was in Egypt land, God's people have been struggling for justice while singing freedom songs. Theology can be clarifying. A good sermon has its place. But nothing is more essential for the life of faith in a community than liturgy that invites us to sing the freedom songs that are sung around the throne of God. Brother Ken Sehested is a song leader in that great cloud of witnesses. Receive his words as gift--and keep singing."" --Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Strangers at My Door ""At Circle of Mercy, the ecumenical congregation that I cofounded a dozen years ago with Ken Sehested and his life partner, Nancy Hastings Sehested, we have the extraordinary gift every Sunday of beginning our worship with a call to worship created by Ken. I'm thrilled that he is making this blessing widely available through this volume of litanies, prayers, and hymns. Our aching world needs more of such stunning and eloquent expressions of confession, conviction, and celebration."" --Joyce Hollyday, author of Clothed With the Sun ""In In the Land of the Willing, Ken Sehested's poetry, long recognized for its brilliant illumination of Scripture with regionally evocative language, takes its place as a universal gift. Here is poetry, and preaching, and pastoring for our days, easily shared in personal prayer or congregational worship."" --Maren C. Tirabassi, author of Blessing New Voices Rev. Kenneth L. Sehested is co-pastor of Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville, NC. A recipient of numerous awards for activism and writing, in 1984 he also became the founding director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. His most recent book is Peace Primer II: Quotes from Jewish, Christian, Islamic Scripture and Tradition.
Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he is the author of dozens of books, including Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, A Gospel of Hope, and Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out.