Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Beginnings

Kinsey supported Obama in the election. She didn't really know why, of course (not unlike people who support candidates from both sides of the aisle), but she knew that she liked him.

I know that there are a lot of people who either dislike Obama or Democrats or whoever, people who are more than ready for the inauguration to be over so that they can get on with criticizing him and his decisions or whatever.

As for me, I'll laud Obama when I think he does well, and criticize when I disagree. I can't predict one way or another which one I'll do more of than the other.

What I can say is that I'm tremendously grateful that my kids are going to grow up in a world where a member of a minority has achieved the highest office in this land, where being of a certain color doesn't present an automatic barrier, that they'll have no excuses to accomplish anything they want to dream. Is Obama the culmination of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream? To some extent, but I think that dream was for all Americans, not just the ones of African descent.

But I'm glad for this new beginning, and while I'm positive that Obama will not be as good as his most fervent supporters seem to think nor as bad as his most vociferous detractors think, I'm looking forward to see how he does.

Finally, I'll say this. I still believe that politics is an imperfect way to achieve the goals of the Kingdom of God. As Jesus himself said in John 18:36, His Kingdom is not achieved in the ways that the kingdoms of this world achieve power ("My Kingdom is not of this world"). And so while I'll admire Obama and his journey to the presidency, I'll still expect him to be a politician and use the tools that politicians use to achieve their goals. And I'll work with my family and community in the way of Jesus to achieve His Kingdom and His will on earth as it is in heaven. Can government help in some of those things? To some extent, maybe. But I know it's best achieved in little pockets of the Kingdom where neighbor cares for neighbor and friend for friend and not by executive fiat.

So congratulations to President Obama and his family. I hope the best for them and pray for their safety. I pray for this country that God would bless us, even if we don't always like what that blessing looks like, but I also pray more importantly that God would bless His world with His presence.

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