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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The President at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast

As he has in the past, President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast:


President Obama has often spoken about the Bible, and he did so again today. From the text:

We come together because we're a people of faith.  We know that faith is something that must be cultivated.  Faith is not a possession.  Faith is a process.

I was struck by the passage that was read earlier from the Book of Hebrews:  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and He rewards those who diligently seek Him.”  He rewards those who diligently seek Him -- not just for one moment, or one day, but for every moment, and every day.

As Christians, we place our faith in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ.  But so many other Americans also know the close embrace of faith -- Muslims and Jews, Hindus and Sikhs.  And all Americans -- whether religious or secular -- have a deep and abiding faith in this nation.

Recently I had occasion to reflect on the power of faith.  A few weeks ago, during the inauguration, I was blessed to place my hand on the Bibles of two great Americans, two men whose faith still echoes today.  One was the Bible owned by President Abraham Lincoln, and the other, the Bible owned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As I prepared to take the sacred oath, I thought about these two men, and I thought of how, in times of joy and pain and uncertainty, they turned to their Bibles to seek the wisdom of God’s word -- and thought of how, for as long as we’ve been a nation, so many of our leaders, our Presidents, and our preachers, our legislators and our jurists have done the same.  Each one faced their own challenges; each one finding in Scripture their own lessons from the Lord.  
In the speech, he also quoted 1 Corinthians 13:12  and Luke 10:27:
 And so my hope is that humility, that that carries over every day, every moment.  While God may reveal His plan to us in portions, the expanse of His plan is for God, and God alone, to understand.  “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  Until that moment, until we know, and are fully known, all we can do is live our lives in a Godly way and assume that those we deal with every day, including those in an opposing party, they're groping their way, doing their best, going through the same struggles we're going through.

And in that pursuit, we are blessed with guidance.  God has told us how He wishes for us to spend our days.  His Commandments are there to be followed.  Jesus is there to guide us; the Holy Spirit, to help us.  Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  See in everyone, even in those with whom you disagree most vehemently, the face of God.  For we are all His children.