The Inauguration

Jan 21st 2009

We spent time at our staff meeting today praying for President Obama and our country, then all 15-20 of us crammed into my office to watch the events unfold.  I didn’t get to hear Rick Warren’s prayer but God did and when it comes to prayer, that’s probably the main thing.  Most in the room didn’t stick around for the poem, which means that they missed the benediction — hard to beat, “red man, get ahead; yellow man get mello” — but we all heard the oath and the speech.  They could have practiced the oath a bit more, but the speech was powerful.

Some random thoughts from the day…

  1. I am grateful that an African American was elected to the presidency.  It doesn’t make up for lynchings, segregation, or slavery, but I pray it will be a healing step forward.
  2. This is not a bandwagon comment, ask Lynn she will tell you.  It was July of 2004.  I remember watching a young black senate candidate give a speech at the Democratic National Convention.  It sang like a sermon.  It inspired me and I told Lynn, watch him…he’s going to run for President some day.
  3. The last time our staff huddled around a tv on a workday was on September 11, 2001.
  4. I am concerned about some of President Obama’s political convictions and I am waiting to see what decisions those convictions inform.
  5. On the greatest gifts President Obama will give in service to the nation is his words.  Never underestimate the power of words.
  6. President Obama loves the message of hope.  I do as well.  He who gives the most hope often leads.  But my hope is not in politics nor the government.  My hope is not in President Obama or any other man.  My hope is not in the words spoken by men.  My hope is in Jesus.  My hope is in Jesus working through his church.  My hope is in the life-giving words that God has spoken.
  7. Regardless of President Obama’s race, faith, power, influence or politics, God holds the heart of the King in his hands.  So I will pray for President Obama with as much passion and hope as I had in praying for President Bush.
  8. I love the fact that I can say that in my lifetime an African American was elected President, but I long for the chance to say that in my lifetime, Jesus transformed my community in ways that went beyond our imagination.