The Word on the Week

Inauguration Ceremony

This blog could better be called “Word on the Inauguration” as the Word of God was quoted throughout. We have grown accustomed to secular ceremonies when politicians take office. In yesterday’s event a welcome preponderance of scripture was used in the inauguration of Donald J Trump.
Perhaps it was because of the cavalier nature of his campaign that we scrutinise him the more carefully but I do not recall any of the other presidents attending church before the ceremony. Trump took the family with him to a service. Perhaps the text was Ps. 133 verse 1, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity” which he quoted in his speech when he appealed to the country to unite behind him.
Before introducing the religious figures a powerful reminder was given of the peaceful transference of power 58 times since 1789 when George Washington became the first President. It was he who remarked that the second inauguration would be more important than the first as one group of politicians was handing over the reins of government to another with whom they would not necessarily have much in common. A lesson in democracy to the watching world!
Cardinal Dolan led off with King Solomon’s prayer from the book of Wisdom for that wisdom which comes from above, “Send her from the holy heavens, down from your glorious throne, so that she may work at my side, and I may learn what pleases you” (Chapter 9 verse 10).
This was followed by readings from the Gospel – St Matthew Chapter 5 verses 3 – 16. Then we had Chuck Schumer, the only Democrat to speak, deliver a couple of political points before reaching a patriotic conclusion when the last letter of Sgt Sullivan Ballou was read. It was written to his wife Sarah on the 14th July 1861. In it he put his love of country first and expressed his readiness to die for its liberty. Indeed his words were prophetic as he was mortally wounded in the First Battle of Bull Run.
Franklin Graham (Billy’s son) read from 1st Timothy Chapter 2 Verses 1 – 6 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in very way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all – the testimony given in its proper time.”
With the example of the sacrifice of Sgt Ballou and the ransom of Christ ringing in his ears President Trump concluded his address with the affirmation the “we (the nation) will be protected by God”.
Let us pray for our leaders including those whose policies may well adversely affect our lives.