Our Great and Diverse Nation

This past weekend Catherine and I traveled to Palm Beach where I preached at the Royal Poinciana Chapel. The church was built by Henry Flagler, who also built The Breakers as a resort on Palm Beach. He built the chapel for his guests!

We flew into Fort Lauderdale on Delta and arrived at Terminal 2. As we went down to baggage claim, I had an eerie feeling that we were going to be near the place where the shooting happened on the previous Friday. Our baggage came in on the turnstile next to where those shootings occurred. The cameras were set up for a memorial service to reopen that turnstile and to remember those who were wounded and killed. We were standing right there where it had all happened a week ago.

We drove up to Palm Beach, one of the most affluent and beautiful places in our country. The contrast was startling. What happened down in Fort Lauderdale seemed a long way from Palm Beach, but it wasn't.

On this day of inauguration of a new president, we are all aware of how diverse our nation is. Some live in enclaves while others die in baggage claim.  Some live in wealth, while others live in poverty. Some are given status while others are given discrimination. Some have education and others do not. And our new president, Donald Trump, steps into a White House right in the middle of all that diversity, complexity, challenge and opportunity.

We Presbyterians have always prayed for our nation and for our leaders.  Today we pray for Donald Trump and for his new administration. May they lead us with integrity and strength, morals and ethics, allegiance to all people, courage, clarity, intelligence and civility. May they pray to God for strength and guidance, vision and perseverance. May they be humble, yet resolved. May they bring dignity and determination to their office in serving his nation, as we serve others in the world.

Amen.

Thanks for listening,