Inauguration and Community (Todd)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Cool day - because of the early morning snow, we closed the office and worked out of our homes today so I was able to watch the Inaugural Address while eating soy "corndogs" and broccoli for lunch. Possibly I was the only person eating soy "corndogs" and broccoli while watching the Inaugural Address? Anyway...a few thoughts on this historic day:

-What a day! One news commentator pointed out that when Barack Obama's father first came to the US he would not have been served in many restaurants in our country because of the color of his skin. Now, barely more than half a century later, his son is President. Amazing. May God continue to heal the effects of America's "peculiar sin" - racism.

-Rick Warren is a champ. He took a lot of heat for some (admittedly unwise) statements isolated from a career of speaking truth and love, stood up, and boldly prayed a prayer that was wise and good. "History is YOUR story, Lord". Good, good.

-The President is an elegant dude, man. Poised, eloquent...people have said it a million times before, but it was so evident today. I pray that his confidence will be leavened with humility which is rooted in dependence on the Lord (and I have no reason to think that is not the case).

-The music right before the oath of office - devastatingly beautiful. Helps to have Itzhak Perelman and Yo-Yo Ma in your band!

-The poem

-Two million people there, longing to be a part of something bigger than them. Full of hope and anticipation. Longing for transcendence. Now, may the Lord prosper and bless our President and his administration. But what struck me again and again today was how shallow political power is in light of God's sovereignty over the affairs of men and nations. For all the grandeur of today, it is like little kids playing dress-up compared to the Stage where God reigns in power and glory.

THAT is the Kingdom to which our first allegiance is due. And that is where we find the bigger purpose worthy of giving our lives to.

A Kingdom where power comes through serving, where the way to life is death, where the outsiders are beloved, where the otherwise powerful are humbled, where God laughs when we get wrapped up in human political leaders as if they can somehow "save" us. A Kingdom which came when God Himself was willing to die.

So much for pomp. And circumstance. And worshipping another human being rather than God.

Crazy as it sounds, the greatest drama of all is not in Washington, but in the local church - the organization God has ordained to complete Christ's mission on earth until He returns again. When you serve, give, worship, participate in Life Groups and in the Give:Love Project you are involved in activities that - in the eternal scope - make all of the stuff happening in Washington appear insignificant.

God bless President Barack Obama. God bless America. But, much more importantly, let your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

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