During yesterday's inauguration, there was an invocation given as there always is for such occasions. But there was some controversy both before and afterwards.
Part of the controversy was over the pastor that was asked to deliver this traditional prayer. His recent comments and involvement in fighting gay marriages have angered many. I guess you could say that the liberal communities didn't think he was a good choice for him to be a part of the inauguration ceremony. Those that are more conservative didn't like the choice either, wondering why he would agree to be a part of anything Democratic.
Controversy on the other end was of the prayer itself. The buzz comes from the non-christian communities thinking that the prayer was too "christian." I don't quite get that because I thought it was a "prayer" and from my experience, a prayer is addressed to God, asking Him for His wisdom, guidance, and blessings. How can it be too "christian?"
When I heard Rick Warren was giving the invocation, I thought it was a good choice from the Obama camp. I like Rick Warren and I really liked his prayer. I thought it was beautiful and I didn't think it had an "overtly christian appeal," but that's because of my own faith and relationship with my God, which is also Mr. Warren's God.
Here was the invocation:
"Let us pray.
Almighty God, our father, everything we see and everything we can't see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory. History is your story.
The Scripture tells us Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one. And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our first African-American president of the United States.
We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership.
And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in Heaven.
Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the Earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all.
May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you.
We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.