Christian Retailing

Abingdon author preaches at Inaugural Prayer Service Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Friday, 25 January 2013 12:00 AM America/New_York

United Methodist pastor and best-selling Abingdon Press author Adam Hamilton delivered the sermon Jan. 22 during the Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

President Obama started his second term with a challenge from Hamilton to help heal the nation's divides.

"We find ourselves desperately longing to find common ground, to find a common vision, to be one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for everyone," said Hamilton, senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., Religion News Service reported. "In this city and in this room, are the people who can help."

Besides Hamilton, the interfaith service featured an imam, Jewish cantors, a Sikh woman and a Catholic layman.

Wearing black robes and speaking calmly, Hamilton delivered his sermon titled "Compassion, Vision and Perseverance: Lessons from Moses," which also weaved lessons from Martin Luther King Jr. and current issues, the United Methodist News Service (UMNS) reported.

"Humility and courageous compassion for the marginalized and oppressed are central to the heart and character of Moses and are meant to be central to the heart and character of this nation," said Hamilton. "Jesus said at the Last Judgment it all comes down to this: 'How did you respond to the needs of the least of these?' This is America at her best. At our best, we're a humble people. And we remember the call to have compassion for the least of these."

The pastor drew laughter, especially with remarks aimed at the president.

"God has given you a unique gift, Mr. President," Hamilton said, according to UMNS. "Unlike any other president we've ever had, you have the ability to be to cast a vision and inspire people. You should've been a preacher."

Hamilton ended his sermon with a story about a young Robert Louis Stevenson. After watching a man light lamps on the street, he said: "Daddy, I'm watching that man out there knock holes in the darkness."

"There's a lot of darkness in our world," Hamilton addressed the president. "Help us rediscover a vision for America that is so compelling it unites us and calls us to realize the full potential of this country, to be a shining city upon a hill. And when you feel your lowest, don't give up. Wait upon the Lord, He will renew your strength, that you might lead us as a nation to knock holes in the darkness."

Hamilton's Abingdon books include The Way; 24 Hours That Changed the World; and Final Words: From the Cross. See Book News Close Up in Christian Retailing's December issue for a Q&A with Hamilton.