Today’s WORD (Text) Psalm 62:5
5/ For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7/ On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. 8/ Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
11/ Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.
Today starts a new era in America if we will allow it. This is an intentional perspective and positioning for our own sake. Life is not handing a new era to us magically. We must take this moment and make all things new. We must allow ourselves—emotionally, spiritually, and politically--to venture forward with a new resolve that life should, must, and will be better. To be sure, as the dark cloud and dangerous impacts of the coronavirus pandemic continue, and as the hostilities and incivility of the Trump years are towed off the main roadway, we understandably find ourselves suffering varying degrees of post-traumatic stress. While the impeachment proceedings and conviction should move ahead, for the sake of accountability, deterrence, and to prevent Trump from holding elective office in the future, we have to remove routine mention of abusers and their abuse from our lexicon. Unfortunately, for dispossessed people, the language of struggle and protest is often more developed than our language of hope, victory, and joy. In order to recover from this PTSD, we will need to identify modes of self-care, treatment, rituals, and spiritual disciplines.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr., (Roman Catholic) and Kamala Harris (an American Baptist) have been sworn in today as President and Vice President, and things will be different politically. Biden will have a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, and an equal number of Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate, thanks to the election of the Reverend Raphael Warnock (also American Baptist) and John Ossoff (Jewish) of Georgia. President Biden has already pledged to prioritize the American people, vaccinations, pandemic-related economic assistance, and renewed focus on America’s infrastructure.
Take hope. Believe in the promise of better days ahead, and through civic engagement, Christian mission, and optimism we must forward march. Above all, let us reaffirm the pronouncement of the psalmist, For God alone, my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken… power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
Today starts a new era…let us embrace it. Live into it! Let us use our words, beautiful words, wonderful words of life!
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray. Help us on this day to turn the page, and to work toward the new possibilities inherent in this new era. Help us to renew our commitment to faith, love, hope, and joy. Heal us from the wounds, hurts, and injustices of the years. Bring recovery and healing from the pandemic. Bless and keep safe President Biden and Vice-President Harris, and the new administration. Teach us to love one another for love is of God. Grant us the courage and resolve we need to keep looking ahead as we keep moving ahead. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Passionary Intention
Today, I choose to live my life with passion. Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:
- Where will I follow Christ today?
- To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
- How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?
The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday). Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.
To read more Word & Witness devotions, click here.
Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash