Because of today’s schedule, I only had glimpses of history. I did watch most of President Obama’s speech, but missed the parade. For a “day off” it sure was a busy day!
There was much to inspire us today. The setting for the oath of office, symbolically on the Capitol steps, just steps away from where the Senate and the House of Representatives meet. The symbols of America’s history are in view of everyone seated there – the Washington Monument, with the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials in the distance. The artistry of the military band. The poem by Richard Blanco, echoing the President’s themes of inclusivity, justice, environmental stewardship, charity, peace and hope. And the prayer for unity at the end of the inauguration by Rev. Luis Leon.
Swirling in the background was all of the social media commentary. (I admit. I participated in it.) Justice Scalia’s hat. How Beyonce and James Taylor out-shined Kelly Clarkson. There are photos of some of the disgruntled. There were inappropriate tweets from those who are (still) angry that the President was re-elected.
These little glimpses of history reminded me that there is still a lot of discord that is bubbling up to the surface. That is the agenda for tomorrow and every day following.
But today – as I prayed for the inaugurations of his predecessors, even those I did not vote for, I thought of the words of Paul from I Timothy 2:
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
And these words from Romans 13:
1 Every person should place themselves under the authority of the government. There isn’t any authority unless it comes from God, and the authorities that are there have been put in place by God. 2 So anyone who opposes the authority is standing against what God has established. People who take this kind of stand will get punished. 3 The authorities don’t frighten people who are doing the right thing. Rather, they frighten people who are doing wrong. Would you rather not be afraid of authority? Do what’s right, and you will receive its approval. 4 It is God’s servant given for your benefit. But if you do what’s wrong, be afraid because it doesn’t have weapons to enforce the law for nothing. It is God’s servant put in place to carry out his punishment on those who do what is wrong. 5 That is why it is necessary to place yourself under the government’s authority, not only to avoid God’s punishment but also for the sake of your conscience. 6 You should also pay taxes for the same reason, because the authorities are God’s assistants, concerned with this very thing. 7 So pay everyone what you owe them. Pay the taxes you owe, pay the duties you are charged, give respect to those you should respect, and honor those you should honor.
We are all commanded to PRAY for our leaders. Even those we did not vote for. Or, more importantly, especially for those we did not vote for!! If we do not, then we cast doubt on God’s ability to direct history.
Simply, humbly, honestly, I do pray for God to “shed His grace” on our country and our world. Until the end of Time…