As you know, it was Inaugural Week in South Carolina. On Wednesday, there was a swearing-in ceremony for the eight constitutional officers, an inaugural gala, and a prayer service.
Being a native of the Capital City, Governor Henry McMaster had the unique joy of holding his official prayer service in the sanctuary of his own church, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia. Participating in that occasion were a number of clergy, but the Invocation by the State Chaplain of the South Carolina National Guard, LTC Rev. Norris Darden, was such a memorable challenge for all of us who work in public policy, we reproduce it for you here. You may watch the entire service, including the invocation and an instructive sermon by The Reverend Dr. Derek W.H. Thomas here.
Let us pray.
Almighty and sovereign God, we invoke your presence this day, because we know that nothing happens without your permission.
How excellent is thy name in all the earth. We thank you. We thank you for your choice, providing South Carolina with seamless continuity and fearless stability in the person of Governor Henry D. McMaster. We thank you for his wife and family, for leadership that has been called for such a time as this.
We pause today to say: Thank you.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May your Holy Spirit instill in our governor, the lieutenant governor-elect and all the staff: wisdom and righteousness, honor and valor, integrity and courage, dignity and loyalty, and all the power and faith needed to stand on the precepts, principles and promises of our God, doing what is right, fair and just for all – especially the poor, the hungry, the marginalized and the disenfranchised.
Let South Carolina be the model of government – the prototype, the set standard that you’ll use for the all the states in the union, defining excellence providing services and caring for all the people as good stewards of God’s gifts and resources.
Help Governor McMaster as he develops policies, deals with conflicts and prioritizes leadership both home and abroad – leadership that fails us not, even when the opposition and oppression is from within. Even when the conflict and chaos manifest itself in nature: hurricanes, floods and all manner of natural disasters. You rule; you super rule.
Give him the power and authority to walk on water and to speak to the wind in your name, with policies that foster peace, justice, equality and all the freedoms that will advance the development, rights and privileges guaranteed to every person by the Constitution we defend.
And let him balance well home and family, state and national affairs, both public and private with the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, and the courage of Daniel.
And now, unto him our God, who is able to keep him from falling, and present him faultless before the presence of our God in all His glory, to the only wise God our father, we invoke Your presence. Have Your way.
Let this be a wonderful, wonderful four years. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.