Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Day, Another President, Another Prayer

Aidan was sick today & Bridgette took him to the Dr. (nothing too bad, Croup, got some meds, he'll be fine), but it left me home instead of in the office for the inauguration, which allowed me to see not only Obama's speech, but also Rev Lowery's closing prayer. There were a bunch of great lines during Obama's speech which I may highlight later, but there was something particular that popped out during Rev. Lowery's prayer. It was relatively early, when he said this:

"But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations."

What he said here is the kind of thing that we need to hear daily. Maybe it's because I'm a Canadian, living Stateside that I have different ears to hear this. But I often wonder whose allegiance are we really bowing our knee to? Whose kingdom do we pray will come? Are we excited about the peace of our nation, or the peace of Christ? Are we excited about the economy of our nation, or the economy of grace? Are we eager to shout "hail Caesar" or "Hallelujah Jesus"? Where is our allegiance? This one line - which many may have seen as a throwaway line in the prayer, I saw as a stake driven into the heart of nationalism - which in my opinion is just as insidious an idol as consumerism or communism or individualism or socialism. And here, we were reminded that God cares for EVERYBODY. It's not sufficient to say "God bless America." Unless it's followed with "so we can bless the world."

I'm glad to have the opportunity to live in the United States. I'm glad to have the opportunity to raise my sons here, to allow them to be citizens. I'm not bagging on the US (although Bridgette may feel otherwise. I just want us to remember that, as Christians, we're required to care about the world at our own expense, and not ourselves, or our nation at the expense of the world...

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