Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Better History

Twenty-five of us watched the Inauguration together in the parish hall today. In Two Saints fashion, we ate some great food and enjoyed one another's company. It was a privilege to be together on this great day. The internet "stream" we were watching went down a third of the way through the speech and we were disappointed, but I don't think our spirits flagged a bit. We were just happy to be together on this most amazing day.

We closed by doing that thing we do in season and out of season, our way of saying "thank you" no matter what. We celebrated the Eucharist together and for the homily shared one another's thoughts. They all were powerfully grateful and hopeful.

As a Christian, I wear my citizenship somewhat lightly. I have a greater allegiance to God and all of humanity that must always be my ultimate concern. With this truth always in mind, God does call me to be "a good citizen," working for the common good and the dignity of all in the country in which I happen to live. And I do not believe God begrudges us a love of country, so long as that love does not dimish the freedom and dignity of others or keep us from seeing the truth when the truth needs to be seen. Having said all this, it was easy to love America today. We have lived into our better nature with this election and redefined what is possible under that old hoped for "American dream."

I finally got to watch the entire speech. A little phrase stuck with me; it was easy to miss, spoken in one of his more hushed moments. "Our better history." What a privilege to be present when "our better history" is made manifest. And indeed what a privilege to be alive to see history literally change before our eyes.

Thanks be to God for this day! Now we must be even more diligent in our prayers, as we must be in making our better history in this hour of trial. May our new President flourish and all of us with him.

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