When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you...Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you,I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. --Isaiah 43: 2, 4
These words from today's reading out of Isaiah, for me, are great for a sunny, cold morning with a cup of coffee as I anticipate this weekend leading up to the inauguration. My childhood Episcopal "hero", Bishop Gene Robinson, will start the activities tomorrow. And, despite the nay-sayers, I am pleased the bishop plans to keep his invocation broad enough so that no matter what name you use to call on "God", you will be part of his prayer.
And we have to include all of us in this new time, this new day that is coming with a new administration. Because as one of my favorite singing groups, Sweet Honey in the Rock, say:
"Folks would never, never, never suffer
if there was more love for your sister and your brother,
but these are trying times"
And to me, you can see how trying the times are in the words of those who remain skeptical of the incoming President. Obama's message of "hope and change" doesn't resonate because, in their world, there is no hope and the only change they are thinking about is the change in their pockets. Or perhaps they refuse to think that someone who doesn't "look like me" has the ability to understand how they live, what they see when they look out on the landscape of their life. And then there are those who have become so jaded from eight years of idiocy, greed, and avarice that they are numb.
I'm not looking to President Obama to wave a magic wand and make everything all better and--thankfully--he is not making such empty promises to all of us. His job is tremendous, and he will need all of us if we are going to rescue this country from where its been. The fact that he is pulling in Bishop Robinson...along with Joseph Lowry...and (gulp) Rick Warren...as well as rabbis and imams is a gesture in the faith arena that I see as trying to gather all of us...from "the four corners" as it were...to start this journey together.
And I, for one, am happy to know that 12:01pm Eastern time on Tuesday, January 20th, is getting closer!! God be with us all...and may God guide Barack Obama through the waters and the fires.