A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles
Inauguration Day is the day of beginnings, wherein one is officially installed into
I wonder which was Jesus’ inauguration day? Was it the wedding at Cana as
told in John’s gospel, when Jesus performs his first public miracle, turning water
into wine? John certainly thinks so, heralding the day, as he does in chapter 1,
with pronouncements of Jesus as the lamb of God, Messiah, Son of God, and
king of Israel. In that understanding, the wedding becomes a celebration not
of the unknown bride and groom so much as a thanksgiving for the generous
(albeit begrudging) providing by the king for the needs of the subjects.
But the more traditional understanding of Jesus’ ‘inauguration’ is more somber:
the crucifixion day that we call Good Friday, when Jesus is given his crown of
thorns and rag robe and mockingly named king of the Jews. It is Jesus’ death day.
As the President of the United States today will walk in a celebratory parade post-
inauguration, Jesus walked in a parade of sorts as he was taken to his own death.
Both are surrounded by guards: one being protected, the other being anything but.
One will have everything done for him, feted and presented with food fit for a king.
The other received nothing but gall and wounds, being forced to carry the instrument
of his own death.
One will be glorified; the other was mocked.
One will gather more and more hangers-on as his day progresses, the other will be
left virtually alone by the time of his last breath.
Each has yet more work to do after all the festivities.
About the one, history will write. The other writes the history.
To borrow from Chuck Shumer speaking into the present, as we consider the past
of our own faith, we would do well to remember.