It's a new dawn. It's a new day. And as the sun rises in the sky this morning, we have a new president-elect.
I stayed up late last night to see that fact announced. I watched as John McCain gave a gracious concession speech. His praiseworthy character was on full display. May we all be moved to imitate his passion for serving others with such humility.
Then I watched the historic moment when an African-American man stood up to speak as the president of the United States. Regardless of my differences of opinion with him on some issues, it was a very stirring moment. As I studied the brown and white faces gathered together hugging and cheering in Chicago, I had hope that this election would bring a measure of healing to race relations in this country.
I listened to Obama's speech next. Like McCain's, Obama's words included humility, hope, and a desire to move forward united. And like McCain, he concluded by invoking God's blessing on our nation. If you missed his speech, I encourage you to watch it online. Personally, I thought it was a positive start to what I pray will be effective leadership.
I expect that Obama's elation this morning at a large goal accomplished - a presidential election won - is bitter-sweetly mixed with a heavy feeling of responsibility. He has a huge task in front of him.
For Obama, much work lies ahead. I pray he is given the strength to do it.
He inherits many problems. I pray he is given the wisdom and creativity to solve them.
He will have many tough decisions to make. I pray he is given discretion and discernment to make them.
He will have political opposition to reach out to and work with in Washington, I pray he is given the grace and gumption to do that.
And I pray all the same things for us - the citizens of the US. For Obama's responsibilities and challenges are our own. I don't want to sit idly by, complaining, lamenting or criticizing when I could be encouraging, praying and serving. I want to be the light the world is straining to see by. I want to supply the hope our world craves. I want to model the values I desire in my neighbors and my leaders. So may God also grant us wisdom, creativity, discretion, discernment, grace and the gumption to face each day and each obstacle ahead with hope from on High.
This morning I am reading Psalm 21. Verse one begins:
"The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases."
May it be so with the heart of our new president, and every leader that serves us. Some of you, my sisters-in-Christ, are fearful today of what Obama's leadership might bring. I understand that. But I hope that you will remember that the king's heart is not out of God's reach. Nor are God's ears deaf to our prayers.
You can click on the link to Psalm 21 above if you want to keep reading the full psalm.
Oh, one last thing, my Starbucks gave away a free coffee yesterday to anyone who voted. Did yours? I love this country!