The closing benediction as given by Reverend Lowry on 20 January 2009 after the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

REV. LOWERY: Say amen —
REV. LOWERY: — and amen.
AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)

2 thoughts on “The closing inaugural benediction as given by Reverend Lowry

  1. Nola, you picked the wrong blog to proselytize in. I’m not Christian and I don’t appreciate your comment.

    Go find someone who thinks like you and wants to hear your crap. He wasn’t talking to white people, he was referring to an old saying in the fifties about blacks and their different skin tones. The white he’s referring to? Someone light enough to pass for white.

    Know whats right? He’s talking about knowing better than to pass for white and be OK with being black.

    Leave here, and come back half past never.

  2. I know a lot of Christians and a lot of missionaries and by no means am considered a youngster. I have yet to hear anyone pray about race? This was the first time. How sad, odd and petty. We should not be divided by finances, race, or anything else. Can you imagine someone praying about others past faults? Look at your own heart and pray about that, not the heart of someone else.
    I’m offended at being referred to as white. I’m a child of God. Period. We have to hang out here together until we die or Jesus comes back. There are more important things to focus on. We are in a financial and moral crisis right now. Jokes aren’t appropriate but faith and hope are. It’s time to grow up take responsibility for our actions and do what is right (that is everyone out there).
    If we don’t knock it off we just might all turn into a pillar of salt. Look forward. Think fresh. Christlike behavior reflects forgiveness and a new journey. Don’t mention others past mistakes and you will unite people. Mentioning them is the true sign of either resentment or an unforgiving heart. It is appropriate to overlook past mistakes and breeds love by doing so.

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