As I write this, the Inauguration Day events are about to begin. I must confess that I haven't typically paid much attention to these rituals. The transfer of power from one President to the next has seemed like not terribly interesting pomp, procedure and flashy staging. (Although I will always remember watching President Obama being sworn in while holding my 9 month old daughter up to the screen, saying: "Look! Our first Black President!")
But today feels so different. Parts of Washington DC are in lockdown because of threats of violence. Events are distanced and cautious due to Covid. Americans are bitterly divided on what is good, and even what is real. I pray that today will be a safe day for ALL PEOPLE, no matter who we are or where we are. And I pray that our nation will find a path toward both accountability and reconciliation.
When we gathered on Zoom for Morning Prayer today, I read the words that have grounded me these past 2 weeks: Psalm 46.
If you become untethered today, I invite you to read this psalm in its entirety, and remember God's goodness and eternal presence. And may we all pray for safety for this day: May God protect all those doing their jobs in vulnerable places. May God protect those charged with protecting others. May God protect all of our elected officials. May God's love reach out to those intent on doing harm. May God be with us all, and expand our hope!
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
“Be still, and know that I am God!"
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.