Wednesday of this week is Inauguration Day. Regardless of our political point of view, the occasion marks a change in leadership and the beginning of a new chapter for the nation. The occasion is an important moment for prayer, asking God’s guidance and inspiration for those assuming the role of leaders both in the Executive Branch and in Congress. It is also a moment to pray for healing and for paths toward reconciling the serious divisions and hostilities that we have all seen play out among us. Our country has known tensions and differences many times in its history and around many various issues and problems. They are here again and, as people of faith, it is incumbent on us to call on divine assistance for ourselves and for our neighbors to inspire each of us towards cautious judgments, toward more open listening, and towards softening the harshness of our own words. Scripture is full of stories of God’s power to transform and to recreate. Each of us is capable (and culpable) of cooperating in that process. May God bless our country and inaugurate those inspirations within all of us.