Apr 7, 2010

President Obama on the Resurrection of Jesus

I have no formal opinion about the transcript from the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.  It speaks for itself.  I cannot judge one's heart, but I hope that these words are felt deeply, and not crafted by a speech writer. 

One of our roles in government is to pray for our leaders.  I recently bought the bobble head doll pictured above.  It is my hope that this doll be a reminder to me of my obligation to pray for our president.  I can only hope that the words spoken by our President at the prayer breakfast are fueled by the prayers of you and I.  If you are not praying for President Obama then now is the time to start.

I have left off the beginning greeting as it does not pertain to his Easter address. 

This is the speech verbatim:

One of my hopes upon taking this office was to make the White House a place where all people would feel welcome. To that end, we held a Seder here to mark the first Passover. We held an Iftar here with Muslim Americans to break the daily fast during Ramadan. And today, I’m particularly blessed to welcome you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, for this Easter breakfast.

With us are Christian leaders from all across America, men and women who lead small-town churches and big-city congregations, and major organizations in service of others; folks whose sermons are heard and whose examples are followed by millions all across the country. So I wanted to join you for a brief moment today to continue the Easter celebration of our risen Savior, and to reflect on the work to which His promise calls all of us.

I can’t tell any of you anything about Easter that you don’t already know. (Laughter.) I can’t shed light on centuries of scriptural interpretation or bring any new understandings to those of you who reflect on Easter’s meaning each and every year and each and every day. But what I can do is tell you what draws me to this holy day and what lesson I take from Christ’s sacrifice and what inspires me about the story of the resurrection.

For even after the passage of 2,000 years, we can still picture the moment in our mind’s eye. The young man from Nazareth marched through Jerusalem; object of scorn and derision and abuse and torture by an empire. The agony of crucifixion amid the cries of thieves. The discovery, just three days later, that would forever alter our world -- that the Son of Man was not to be found in His tomb and that Jesus Christ had risen.

We are awed by the grace He showed even to those who would have killed Him. We are thankful for the sacrifice He gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrection.

And such a promise is one of life’s great blessings, because, as I am continually learning, we are, each of us, imperfect. Each of us errs -- by accident or by design. Each of us falls short of how we ought to live. And selfishness and pride are vices that afflict us all.

It’s not easy to purge these afflictions, to achieve redemption. But as Christians, we believe that redemption can be delivered -- by faith in Jesus Christ. And the possibility of redemption can make straight the crookedness of a character; make whole the incompleteness of a soul. Redemption makes life, however fleeting here on Earth, resound with eternal hope.

Of all the stories passed down through the gospels, this one in particular speaks to me during this season. And I think of hanging -- watching Christ hang from the cross, enduring the final seconds of His passion. He summoned what remained of His strength to utter a few last words before He breathed His last breath.

“Father,” He said, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. These words were spoken by our Lord and Savior, but they can just as truly be spoken by every one of us here today. Their meaning can just as truly be lived out by all of God’s children.
So, on this day, let us commit our spirit to the pursuit of a life that is true, to act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord. And when we falter, as we will, let redemption -- through commitment and through perseverance and through faith -- be our abiding hope and fervent prayer.

Many of you are living out that commitment every day.

The full speech is available at: Easter Prayer Breakfast


Anonymous said...

i too would hate to think that this was a "written" speech, but i have to pause and think of what his real beliefs are....i beleive he would be running the country alot differently if he believed what he said in his speech. i respect the office he holds, but i don't respect him.

Anonymous said...

i would have to agree with was "anonymous" said. also, from what i've heard lately about the leaders in our country potentially turning their backs on the nation of Israel...do these people not read Scripture? may God have mercy on our country if it decides to go quit helping Israel.

Inside Nate's Head said...

There are definitely different opinions held by Christians involving Zionism and Israel. I for one think we should support Israel. Christians who hold to Covenant Theology would argue that Israel rejected God and Christians are the spiritual line of Abraham. Dispensationalists would argue for Israel. I tend to agree with the latter group, but this is pretty much the only area I agree with them on.

By the way President Obama's denomination, The United Church of Christ believes Covenant Theology. This means that his actions are directly aligned with what he has been taught in church to believe is of God. My advise is to pray for him to seek God in his decision making.

One who has been changed said...

One thing stands out to me is that it is written He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. I can not find the exceptions when I read that which has been written. Interesting times with dark days...One thing is clear Israel as a nation will exist in the end times but do not see where it is written that USA will....just a thought.

wisecracker said...

"what inspires me about the story of the resurrection." I don't think he actually believes that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Just doesn't seem like that type of dude.