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January 20, 2021

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Today is Inauguration Day. In a few hours, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the United States. Last night’s COVID memorial ceremony provided insight into the way they will lead. They showed compassion and empathy. Mr. Biden’s words were straightforward and true: “To heal, we must remember.” In those five words, he showed that he cares about both healing and the truth. To remember is to be honest about what has happened, both the joys and the sorrows, and to use that truth as a starting point for what comes next, the starting point for healing.

Today, I pray for our new President and Vice President. I pray that they will continue to lead with compassion and empathy, seeking healing and truth. I pray that they will ground themselves in godly wisdom. I pray that they will pursue what is right and, when they do not, that they will accept correction. I pray that they will be lifted up when they are discouraged. I pray that they will be both bold and humble in exercising their duties.

Scripture calls us to pray for those who lead. Reading Paul’s words to Timothy, you’ll note that we do not pray for our leaders simply for their sake, but for ours. We pray for those in high positions for the sake of those who are lowly, that together we might lead quiet and peaceable lives, marked by godliness and dignity. Paul’s words remind us that those in power ought not exercise power for the sake of power or self-enrichment. They are called to use their office for the sake of the powerless. I pray that this will be the case for the next four years. I also give thanks that these two leaders care about peace and dignity. May they be supported and sustained in seeking peace, working for justice, and governing for the benefit of all Americans.

I give particular thanks today for Vice President-elect Harris, whose life bears witness to my children, my daughter and my sons (and to all of us, really), that women belong in places of power, and that the voices of People of Color must be heard if we are to build a fair and just society.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Lord of the nations, you call your people to work for justice and peace for all people. Create a greater equality in this land, with true freedom for all. Bless Joe and Kamala, and all those elected to positions of leadership, that they would faithfully fulfill their duties. Send forth your wisdom upon them, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Photo of the White House at night, Rob Young, May 29, 2011 (used with permission).

From → COVID-19

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