For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about Philippians 3:14. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on…” And then in about a thousand ways, the Inauguration speakers, pastors and singers “preached” that. We’re weary, but we’re ready.
Practically speaking, we can’t literally forget the past, but we can let go of its hold on us. We can refocus on what’s important, good and right, and get our eyes back on the prize.
We can strain toward what is ahead. Paul was clear about his goal and utterly focused on it. He wasn’t advocating competition with each other. He was just speaking for himself, as if he were the only one in the race, straining to give his best.
At a church I attended years ago, the Sunday bulletins featured this in the upper left hand corner.
Pastors — (a list of their names)
Ministers — All the People
We’re the people. Our leaders are important, but so are we. The song President Biden quoted from yesterday, “American Anthem” (lyrics below) says it so well. It’s time to press on, whether our guy won or lost, whether we’re red or blue or black or white or any “color.” Like Paul, it’s as if we’re the only one in the race, straining to give our best.
“All we’ve been given By those who came before The dream of a nation Where freedom would endure The work and prayers Of centuries Have brought us to this day What shall be our legacy? What will our children say? Let them say of me I was one who believed In sharing the blessings I received Let me know in my heart When my days are through America America I gave my best to you Each generation from the plains To distant shore with the gifts They were given Were determined To leave more Battles fought together Acts of conscience fought alone These are the seeds From which America has grown For those who think They have nothing to share Who fear in their hearts There is no hero there Know each quiet act Of dignity is That which fortifies The soul of a nation That never dies America America I gave my best to you.”
“American Anthem” by Gene Scheer.