Inauguration: ‘Day the Lord has made’

Published 8:02 pm Monday, January 21, 2013

By Dennis Edwards

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

There are times when history merges with destiny to produce a moment so special we realize it to be the work of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A moment that shows us the best of who we are and what we can be.


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The second inauguration of President Barack H. Obama was that kind of day. As the nation celebrated the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, President Obama took the oath of office with his hand on Dr. King’s Bible and on a Bible that belonged to Abraham Lincoln.

In that moment, the abiding hope and faith of a nation was woven together to show the best we can be through struggle, disagreement and differing political ideology.

Regarding life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the 44th president said, “These truths may be self-evident; they’ve never been self-executing.”

So we must execute this hope for each other. What a personal challenge toward shared prosperity through equal access to opportunity.

“The patriot,” he said, did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.” It was a not-so-subtle reminder that we are in this thing together and that we need to resist the subtle effort to snatch respect from those who’ve earned commitments from Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

“These things do not sap our initiative,” he said. “They strengthen us. They don’t make us a nation of takers. They free us to take risks that make this country great.”

Here he shared his vision of self-reliance and community support, a compassionate progressive approach that is neither exclusively liberal nor completely conservative. It was a reminder, perhaps, that right and wrong don’t belong exclusively to any one ideology.

We were challenged socially in areas many are uncomfortable with. But the challenge was on legal, not religious grounds, which indicates a healthy respect for the faith of those who disagree.

The inauguration reinforces what the American people know is possible and execute on their own every day. We get along, work together and accomplish together like no other people have done in history.

Maybe that’s the kind of thing that made Monday “the day the Lord hath made,” after all. It was a day when humanity trumped division, when common interest was more important than individual gain, when we regarded each other more highly as persons than we regard differences rooted in fear and distrust.

The inauguration was that kind of day. It was a day the Lord made in which we all could rejoice and be glad.

Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter and anchor, He is a 1974 graduate of Suffolk High School. Email him at