Postcards from the Inauguration
January 23, 2009 § 1 Comment
This past Tuesday a few of us braved the cold (man was it frigid!), the crowds (like none I’ve ever seen), the Metro, the vendors, the barricades and the detours, to attend the 44th Presidential Inauguration. Here are some Random Thoughts…
There are few scenes so inspiring as the National Mall – Forrest Gump didn’t do it justice – being there is the thing. The monuments combined with the layout bring real meaning to the whole idea of Citizenship. I can’t think of a better venue for such an important moment in our Nation’s history.
Our Nation has taken an important step – I can tell you that some of the policies of our new President disturb me, but our history, in the areas of Race and Injustice do as well – ‘We the People’ of these United States broke historic ground in electing a man of color – a man who fifty years ago could not legally drink out of the same water fountain as any white American. You could sense the joy and relief in the smiles on the faces in the crowd. My heart was filled with pride and my eyes with tears. A long and sad drought has ended in America.
The collective Celebration was extraordinary – It was a massive party, really – we all sang American Pie with Garth Brooks, and Pride – In the Name of Love with U2. Aretha Franklin belted out, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and we were mesmerized as Yo-Yo Ma and Yitzhak Perlman, along with a lovely ensemble, performed a John Williams piece for the occasion. I was reminded that when people are a Community many of the differences that often divide fall away. We would have attended regardless of who became our new President (everyone here needs to go to at least one, right?), but the nature of this moment was special and it felt that way. Would that the Church would be such a Community…
Presidents come and go – What a stunning image – of seeing one President who was leaving office, and another who was taking it – all on one stage. And it served as a reminder that World Leaders are humans who have life spans and terms of office. They are Public Servants and deserve our respect and honor, but they serve for a season. Even dictators one day die. Even if they are the first African-American President, they one day step down. Presidents are humans. They have huge responsibilities – but of the human order…
Jesus is still King – John calls Him “the ruler of the kings of the earth,” (Revelation 1:4-6) – while displaying His stunning credentials – that He “loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…” When all is said and done we can put an Inauguration, historic as it is with all the pomp and excitement, into perspective. We can enjoy it (and I did), and we can appreciate its significance – but in the end, what matters is that the Prince of Peace is our Redeemer – Jesus, the King of Kings. And His Kingdom will never end.
This is Good News.