Tuesday, November 4, 2008, was truly a momentous occasion.
In one sense, it was the culmination of a long, hard-fought political campaign. Every four years we go through this. We, the American people, select the most powerful leader of this most powerful nation on earth. With so much at stake, it is no wonder that the contest is hard fought. This year was no different in the intensity of the contest. This year will once again exhibit our greatness because there will be a peaceful transition of power.
Yet we all know this year’s election is different. Both contestants are honorable men. One is a former POW who invested his life in the service of his country. The other is the first African American on the top of the ticket. Indeed, he is the first minority to receive his party’s nomination.
At the culmination, each contestant spoke to his supporters. Anyone with a semblance of an open mind could see and hear that both of these men personify the character and greatness of America. Both men called for unity.
One exhibited great leadership by stating that he alone takes full responsibility for his loss—no finger pointing. Further, he pledged full support for the winner of the contest. And he asked all Americans to do the same.
The winner of the contest spoke to the hopes and dreams of people all around the world. I am just old enough to vaguely and sadly remember a segregated south. It is both breathtaking and awe-inspiring to now see an African American elected as our 44th president. Further, President-elect Obama implied, “I can do it and you can too!” Yes, we can…make a better world. His words and his life give people hope even “to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world.”
Therefore in another sense, Election Day 2008 was both the culmination of a centuries-old struggle and the dawning of a new day for America and the world. The creative spirit is alive and well in America. We are continuously re-inventing ourselves. We can be the “city set on a hill.”
With this contest over, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. He quoted scripture by saying, “…so still it must be said, "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
A new contest begins. Our role, as followers of Jesus, is to pray and to support our government officials—the ones who lead today and the ones of the new administration to come.
Please pray for President-elect Barack Obama, his administration, and may God bless America.