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Hope – A Reflection

January 20, 2021
First Quarter (52.1%) Moon on the eve of Inauguration day.

Two weeks ago, homegrown terrorists attacked the nation’s Capitol. Our elected representatives, senators, and the vice-president were whisked away from the invaders of that sacred space.

Today, we witness the peaceful transfer of power to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris which is something that we have taken for granted for far too long in our nation’s recent history. In spite of those who wanted to upend democracy, the Constitution prevailed.

To quote our nation’s first ever, youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman:

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
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 our 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 force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation

To offer hope and laughter… to find the light… we strive to forge a union with purpose… can there be a higher calling for the citizens of this nation?

There is a lot of healing that needs to happen and it begins today. In the sermon I recorded for Sunday this afternoon, I spoke the words of my friend and colleague in ministry Thom Shuman. We must somehow seek to understand and live out God’s scandalous mercy. It won’t be easy, but we are called to be instruments of God’s equally scandalous love.

Out of the darkness, we will walk together into the light. In one of his sermons, Dr King said the following: Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals.

May we walk together into that future with hope.

2 Comments
  1. What a wonderful and uplifting message of hope. Thanks.

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