I’ve been reflecting on the Inaugural Poem, The Hill We Climb, by Amadan Gorman. Gorman, the first person named National Youth Poet Laureate by The Library of Congress finished the poem in the wake of the violent protest at The United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. She is the youngest poet to read at a Presidential inauguration.
Like many who listened, read, and re-listened to her poem, I was struck (but not totally surprised) by the religious language in the poem. She began by asking the question, “Where can we find light?” We might be able to find a high level of agreement that in our country, and our world, that it is challenging to find where “light” is breaking through. Gorman talked about our need for “healing” and “redemption” for our nation and the role we can play in that process.
Just a week ago, we began a serious on The Sermon on the Mount. Following the Beatitudes, Jesus tells the crowd,
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16)
Jesus tells disciples that they are to be the light of the world. The words and actions of Christians are to be a light in the darkness. Christians are to be “salt” in the way we bring flavor and healing through our lives in our community. If there is healing that needs to be done in our families, communities, nation, and our world- it is the calling of followers of Jesus Christ to be the light through our words and actions that allows the healing that God brings to the world. The Church cannot sit back and wait for the world to be the light- we have already been called to be the light.
Gorman ended her poem by saying, “There is always light if we’re brave enough to see it; if we’re brave enough to be it.”
Church, are we brave enough to see the light of Christ that is in the world regardless of how dark it seems? Are we brave enough to live as the light of Christ through our words and deeds? Let us live to shine the light of Christ in the world!