by Pastor Rob Bloss
Amanda Gorman made history Wednesday as the youngest known inaugural poet. The 22-year-old delivered her poem "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden's inauguration. It was a message of hope and unity that touched the heart of many across our country.
Here are some scattered lines taken from her poem:
We are striving to forge our union with purpose,
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first
We must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried that we will forever be tied together.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
If we are to live up to our own time, then victory won't lie in the blade,
But in all of the bridges we have made.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation
And every corner called our country.
Our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid.
A new dawn looms as we free it,
For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it,
If only we are brave enough to be it.
While we may disagree or argue some of her words and points, we should not debate the call, as followers of Christ and as people of shalom, to draw together to pray for and pursue peace and unity in Christ.
A few months before the end of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln spoke these words in his second inaugural address, which he delivered at the Capitol building: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
The work continues. The work of the gospel continues. It is far from finished, and will never be finished on this side of eternity. There are lives to be won to Jesus, wounds to be healed, relationships to be repaired, sins to be forgiven, and changes to be made.
In our fractured society, we ought to hear the call of Jesus to witness to the gospel of his love – “a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (I Cor. 13:7). And bear witness to the gospel of His peace - “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
As a priesthood of believers, it is my prayer that we come together and humbly pray, seeking His face and praying for His redemptive work to take place in our individual lives and then to overflow from us to others.
May we BE Jesus to all who are watching and yearning. May we BE His love and His truth, His light and His peace. May we BE His image bearers bringing hope to those who are hurting and in need of a healing that can ultimately only be found in Jesus.