Only In This Should You Glory
A Prayer on the Occasion of the Inauguration of Donald Trump
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
You who are the oneness that makes our cosmos a universe,
Your unity is beyond our grasp.
We are not, today, a United States of America.
We are, some of us, the liberal states;
We are, some of us, the conservative states.
Each, brooding under our own fig trees –
Angry, bitter, fearful, misunderstood.
… a touch arrogant and smug too.
You are the compassion that sustains all,
Such generous caring is beyond our possibility.
Red State us despises Blue State us: “damn liberals, gays, feminists…”
Blue State us disdains Red State us: “rednecks, racists, fundamentalists …”
How do You manage to see all our flaws yet love each of us anyway?
The unemployed in Ohio and Oregon,
The uninsured in Kentucky and Vermont,
Retired teacher hoping the pension will last long enough.
White coal miner and Latino construction worker,
Atheist office worker and Muslim doctor …
You cherish them all. How can we?
You are the power made real in covenant,
Your strength is that of empathy, resilience, and transformation.
We won’t risk that abiding power,
Relying instead on coercion, bluster, and bullying.
Yet Your might inspired us to dance our liberty from Egyptian slavery,
to risk religious freedom at Plymouth Rock,
Breaking chains of race hatred at Selma, the war against women at Seneca Falls,
Standing for gay humanity at Stonewall, Native dignity at Standing Rock,
You have made so many places resonant with your power:
The power of presence, of persistence, and of persuasion.
God was in this place, and I did not know it!
Be with us in this place, God of covenantal strength:
Empower us to dare partnership with each other, a covenant of hope and possibility!
Teach us to risk compassion and love, God of Compassion:
Circumcise our hearts to truly see each others’ pain and to heal each others’ hurt!
Bring us together in true unity of purpose, You who are One:
Welcome us into a unity so broad that it invites multiple paths toward fulfillment,
So we can each contribute as we can, so we each find our unique place, a holy place.
In loving strength, flowing compassion, united purpose, bless our new leaders
And bless us too
To be better than the past would suggest, to stretch to reflect Your glory:
Steadfast love, justice, and equity.
For in these do You delight, and they alone make us great.