Since much was made of these two invocations beforehand, I thought it would be useful to take a look at Rev. Rick Warren's and Rev. Joseph Lowery's respective prayers at today's inauguration ceremonies for President Obama.
First there's Warren's invocation, which you can find the transcript to here.
Warren's prayer, as these things go, was frankly pretty bland, but fine for this context. The best part:
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.
Rev. Lowery's benediction, on the other hand, was surprisingly fiery, especially from the lips of an 87-year-old. Its wrapup was spine-tingling:
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.
Of course, the righty whiteys are already uptighty about this part of the prayer. (I'm betting Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck do something, since they lead the contingent that sees any discussion of our weaknesses and flaws as being "anti-American.")
What did you think?