On this Inauguration Day, I'm thinking about unity. Like presidents before him, President George W. Bush had a goal of bringing the country together. President Barack Obama had the same goal. President Donald Trump promises that he will bring us together.
I pray his leadership and the leadership of others will bring more national unity. I am trying to not be dissuaded by the dichotomy of 16 years of rhetoric about coming together which, seemingly, has resulted in greater division. I hope that the many good aspects of our country and our common ideals will be enough to overcome the partisan rancor that has propelled a divisive tone among us, a tone amplified by cable news outlets.
I hope we'll get to the point where looking at a flag where red, white, and blue complement one another and hold strong together will be a visible reminder that the "red state/blue state" divide is nothing more than a visual aid for 24-hour news cycles.
Red and blue are colors, not political convictions. States are made up of people, not monolithic thinking. Few individuals hold the party line on every single issue. It's when we reduce one another to these kind of caricatures that we become more divided than united.
None of us know what the next four years will hold, but the Christian church has 2000 years of working on unity over division. Modern politics didn't invent it.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians about unity - even among the earliest followers living together in a single town division crept in. We'll look at that Sunday in the sanctuary. You can read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 as a way of preparing.
One thing that unites us across denominational lines is that God is worthy of our praise. We may argue about the best ways to worship God, but that we should is about as universal a statement as can be made in the Church. Psalm 27:1, 4-5 speaks to that. The Well service will give you an opportunity to reflect on it.
In each service, Central will be honored to receive greetings from Wofford College's President Nayef Samhat.
Today, let's pray for unity, seek unity, and make plans to worship the God who makes us one.