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I was glued to the live coverage of an inspiring and memorable event that took place last week — the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
I found it inspiring because it expressed values that, whatever their politics, I know many Americans share, values like optimism, hope, decency and truthfulness.
For me, it was inspiring also for something that was articulated without words, because the first act of the 46th president as he took office was to call for silence and for that silence to be filled with private prayer. I cannot help but think that it bodes well for the future of that great nation to have a man of faith leading it.
Returning to the words, some of the finest and most moving that day came from a young woman called Amanda Gorman.
She spoke of lifting the gaze of the nation not to what stands between its people, but to what stands before them, of closing divides because they know that, to put their future first, they must first put differences aside.
‘The new dawn,’ she said, ‘blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to BE it.’
In the first chapter of his Gospel, John says: ‘The light continues to shine in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.’
We are called, all of us, to be part of that light and to be bearers of it into a dark and troubled world. May we rise to that call, as the new president rises to his.
Reverend William Crossan, Lorne and Lowland Church, Campbeltown.