An Inauguration Reflection
Posted on January 19, 2021 | Posted by Mary Stoneback
“This book is dedicated to you. You are braver than you know and mightier than you can ever imagine. Be bold.” That’s the note at the end of Sofia Valdez, Future Prez. Each week I read a Bible story and picture book
with the preschool students at our Children’s Learning Center. With the inauguration this week, I thought Sofia Valdez was the book to read. In the book, Sofia’s grandfather gets hurt when he falls down a giant pile of garbage. Sofia gets mad and decides “Mount Trashmore” should be turned into a park. She navigates the red tape, leads a commission, gathers a group from the community and eventually gets the park built.
It’s an inspiring little story. And a bit naïve, you might say. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But you wouldn’t be entirely right, either. See, the point of Sofia Valdez is not that it is so simple to tare down “Mount Trashmore.” Rather, the point is that we are not powerless. We can work to make the world stronger, fairer, kinder, safer, cleaner. Especially when we work together.
I write this article on Tuesday, the day before the inauguration. In these times of political divisiveness, the pandemic, and the threat of violence, tomorrow might not bring about the usual civic engagement and pride we’re used to every four years. Holed up in our homes, we might feel like the world has or is spinning out of control and there’s nothing we can do about it.
But Sofia tell us that’s not true. And so does our baptismal calling. In our baptisms and confirmations, we make a pretty bold promise: To proclaim Christ through word and deed, care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace. That might be enough to make even Sofia nervous. But then we respond – you respond! – “I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.” And right after that the whole congregation promises to support and pray for you in that effort.
You are not powerless. God stands with you. Your fellow sisters and brothers in Christ stand with you. Together, we’ve made bold promises. And whether we fulfill these promises by taring down Mount Trashmore, turning toxic political conversations civic again, caring the for the poor among us, advocating for justice at the seats of power, or bringing our values and convictions to our many vocations – God is at work through you.
Tomorrow Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take an oath to serve our country. You made a similar oath long ago. Through water God promised to be right there with you and through oil the Holy Spirit came upon you. You aren’t powerless. You are called. Let’s get to it.
Pastor Daniel Smith
Learn more about “Sofia Valdez, Future Prez,”or buy a copy of the book:
Watch a reading of the book by the author: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYVGdM6SsaU