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On Earth, as it is in Heaven

Today is Inauguration Day. No matter what one’s political perspective might be, I think everyone would agree that it’s been a long four years. A little over four years ago, we gathered in the sanctuary of Friends Church on the morning after the election to pray and express our fears, our hopes, and our uncertainties. And in these four years, we’ve continued to be the church—welcoming the stranger, seeking a deeper spirituality, witnessing for justice, caring for each other in good times and in bad. Today, as we witness the change of power in our nation’s capital, we will continue to be what God has called us to be: a community of radical inclusion and God’s extravagant welcome. We will continue—even in the midst of a pandemic—to care for one another. We will continue to seek a deeper spirituality. We will continue to witness for justice and peace in God’s world. Many will be celebrating today. Some in our nation will be mourning. But the reign of God—that kin-dom of peace and compassion—endures. The psalmist composed these words millennia ago, and for me, they still ring true:

Let my whole being praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with all my life; I will sing praises to my God as long as I live.

Don’t trust leaders; don’t trust any human beings— there’s no saving help with them! Their breath leaves them, then they go back to the ground. On that very same day, their plans die too.

The person whose help is the God of Jacob— the person whose hope rests on the Lord their God— is truly happy! God: the maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, God: who is faithful forever, who gives justice to people who are oppressed, who gives bread to people who are starving! The Lord: who frees prisoners. The Lord: who makes the blind see. The Lord: who straightens up those who are bent low. The Lord: who loves the righteous. The Lord: who protects immigrants, who helps orphans and widows, but who makes the way of the wicked twist and turn!

The Lord will rule forever! Zion, your God will rule from one generation to the next!

Praise the Lord!

(Psalm 146)

So today, I will be praying for President Biden and Vice-President Harris. I will be praying for the Congress, the courts, and all those in leadership. I will be praying that they are led into wisdom, into justice, into peace, and into compassion. And I will pray that, no matter what human leaders are in power, no matter what plans they may have, God’s kin-dom will come, on earth as it is in heaven. No human power on earth can prevent that kin-dom from coming, and no human power can bring it about. And thank God for that. Thank God it’s not up to you, to me, to a president, or a politician. The Spirit is here, and the kin-dom is already among us. Thanks be to God! Amen.


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