I recently learned that the farewell address of George Washington is read annually on Washington’s birthday by a member of the Senate to the gathered senators. You can read more about that tradition here.
If you want to read a copy of that address, you can read it here. It will probably take you 30 minutes.
One of the main themes in his final words to our nation is UNITY—work for the unity of our nation. Washington was already aware of the deep divisions (of political ideology) and the acrimony and animosity generated in political arguments. He was deeply concerned about partisan politics.
I find it a little ironic that the Senate reads this final address every year and then seems to go about political business as usual.
When it comes to politics, as with just about everything else, our ideals are inspiring but our experience lacking. But let’s keep the ideal always before us and keep on working at civility, respect, honor, and dignity. Freedom without those things cannot last.
And I reflect often on what the church’s role is in being a place where diversity finds unity around the deeper, better, and truest narrative of all – Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord.
P.S. By the way, Lincoln, borrowing from Scripture, understood the deep divisions in our nation more than anyone.