One of the many highlights of this inauguration day was the dynamic verse penned and delivered by Amanda Gorman. In the opening lines of her beautiful poetry she wrote, “Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.” Not broken, she said, “simply unfinished.” What is true for our nation, especially in this moment, is equally true for all of us. How often have we seen ourselves broken beyond repair, when from the perspective of the Divine we are simply unfinished. As we move forward as a country, it is important to also examine our own words and habits and to reflect on the unfinished work in us. May we rely on God’s grace to heal our land, but also our hearts.
Gorman’s entire piece is awe inspiring but these two stanzas in particular powerfully resonated with me, “Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. If we’re to live up to her own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made. That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare. It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a forest that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. This effort very nearly succeeded…So let us leave behind a country better than one we were left with. Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West. We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the Lake Rim cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
In light of this inspirational moment I offer a prayer and a pledge. As I did on this day four years ago for the incoming Trump administration, I now offer prayers of blessings on the incoming Biden administration, for him and Vice President Harris. And although I was a frequent critic of the departing President Trump, I continue to pray for him and his family. May God’s blessing rest upon our Nation and bring all of us together to represent some good in this world amidst such trouble and division.
I pledge to pray for President Biden and to offer criticism of his policies when appropriate, as the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, these are rights granted to me by God and protected under our Constitution. I look to the Scriptures for my guidance in this, and may all of us who are Christ followers shed ourselves of malice and move forward as peace makers, understanding that making peace never means compromising truth, justice, and equality for all under the law. As Christians we are called to be prophetic, never failing to speak truth to power, and thankfully we live in a country where this obligation is protected by our First Amendment.
I am inspired by the leadership President Biden and Vice President Harris have exhibited in a difficult transition. Their grace, poise, and empathy, should be an encouragement and example to us all. I am also inspired by Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the first woman, and first woman of color to hold that office. May she be the first of many. And to the American people, whatever side of the divide you find yourself on, take a moment and thank God for the liberties you posses by the fortune of your birth, or your choice to become an American citizen. All things considered, I’m still grateful I was born in the United States of America.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” -1 Timothy 2: 1-3
God bless America. More importantly may America bless God.