I remember 8 years ago watching the inauguration of President Obama in Saskatoon with my 2 year old granddaughter, Faith. I remember telling her "Remember this Faith, this is an important moment for the world." I remember the sense of hope and celebration I felt that was shared across the world. Today as we approach the inauguration of President Trump it is a very different experience.
Here are three reflections on the inauguration: "
Today in the United States we inaugurate a new president. While I pray President Trump leads with wisdom, compassion, and justice, we cannot simply sit back and watch whatever unfolds. We the people have a tremendous responsibility to work together, to speak truth to power, to peacefully advocate for the rights of all beings and the earth. This requires maturity and contemplative consciousness, empathy for the "other," and courage to stand with those who are suffering." (Richard Rohr, American contemplative theologian)
"Less than 60% of Americans voted in the US presidential election. There are many reasons for this, but it is clear that many Americans have not participated in great numbers in elections for many years, going back as far as Franklin Roosevelt. This lack of participation is what has led to such a situation as now exists – where political leaders are less indebted to the people of the democracy, and where political action is more about political power than serving the people. It has also resulted in the cynicism that citizens have towards politicians of all stripes.
A democracy requires that the people vote and demand better of their politicians than self-serving gathering of power and riches. In case we think that Canada is much better, the voter turnout in the Federal election of 2015 was 66% and for 18-24 year olds, the turnout was 57%. And the recent Senate debacle should remind us that we too have big issues." (Boyd Drake UCC minister)
Whenever fear becomes the dominant force in our lives, it inevitably leads either to hatred and exclusion or to despair and apathy. We cannot afford to go in either of these directions. So let us draw on the deepest resources of our faith to choose instead an alternative that is stronger than fear, hate, or despair—love." (Jordan Cantwell, UCC Moderator)
Whatever your thoughts are about the new president, the reality is that many are frightened for their lives or their livelihoods. These three reflections all stress the imperative that we - each of us and all of us together - are called by the essence of our faith in the Spirit of Christ to ground ourselves in the that essence - which is love.
Last week as we recalled Jesus baptism and remembered our own we were blessed with the words "Remember you are God's beloved. Go and continue to walk in the Light" May it be so.
God bless you.
See you Sunday.