The Livingston Avenue Review Of Zines

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dedication (1997)

When the priests had completed the rites necessary to consecrate the new temple in Jerusalem, Queen Athalia lifted her hands and face to pray.

Oh great Lord Melkart, king of heaven! Remember my mother, Jezebel, and her great faith---how she lived and died in your service; how she built you shrines and temples and brought glory to your name throughout the land of Israel; how she destroyed the abominations of Jah, the detestable wargod. Remember the faith of her father, Ithobaal---how he served you as King and High Priest in the cities of Sidon and Tyre; how he led your people in the true faith with unfailing dedication. For the sake of these, your servants; for Jezebel, my mother; for Ithobaal, her father; though I am completely unworthy, I pray you forgive my apostasy.

In the horrible days of the Philistine raids, when three of my children were killed without mercy, I committed this grievous sin: I turned my back on the righteous way, giving myself to despair, and swore I would never again offer a sacrifice on your altar. For ten long years I kept this unholy vow---like a rudderless ship on the western sea, tossed by the wind and waves, out of the sight of land. For ten long years I hated my own life, hardening my heart, refusing to repent. I, a mortal woman, dared to presume to judge my Lord and God!

But another day came at last---the horrible day of Jehu, the traitorous scourge of Jah. My brother, your servant, King Joram, was shot through the heart with an arrow and died there in battle near Jezreel defending your Kingdom of Israel. My husband, too, King Ahaziah, was hunted down that very day by this same Jehu, the scourge of Jah, like an animal hunted for sport. And still on the very same day this very same bloodthirsty Jehu murdered my mother, your servant, Israel's most noble Queen Jezebel.

Then I knew despair. And in my despair I knew that only you could save me, great Lord Melkart, king of heaven. Then, with my spirit broken, I turned from my stubborn self-will to your righteous way and its healing power. Then at last, my soul knew peace; the peace that only you can give.

Now you have chosen your unworthy servant to rule as the Queen in the palace of Solomon. Help me to lead the people to you! When one of my people prays at this temple, and offers a sacrifice here on your altar, show them your mercy, forgive them their sinfulness, accept their offering and hear their prayer! Show us your strength and your infinite majesty! Accept our offering and hear our prayer!

Let every voice praise Melkart, king of heaven, now and forever.

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