Archive for November, 2008

A Point in History

Friday, November 7th, 2008

It just so happened that the morning after the U.S. presidential election, I found myself standing outside the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.  I was with ten others who comprise CRM-US’s leadership who are meeting this week in this city beside the Mississippi and we spent the morning at this landmark.

This museum is built around the Lorraine Motel, the spot where Martin Luther King was assassinated.  The facade and that actual area of the building remains as it was that fateful day in 1963 on the balcony pictured above.

The poignancy of the moment was gripping.  Here I was at the site of perhaps the most tragic event of the American Civil Rights movement the day after the first person of African descent has ascended to the highest office in the land.

The feelings were multiple and even conflicting.  On one hand, it is remarkable to see how far the nation has come in these intervening years.  Regardless of one’s politics, the election of Barak Obama is a landmark in the long struggle for racial justice and equality.  On the other hand, it’s sad to see how long it has taken to reach such a milestone and to be reminded once again of the appalling price paid by so many over the years in this journey.

At lunch today, an African American pastor from Memphis summed it up well:

“It is mind blowing to think in my lifetime this country would ever live up to its creeds.  I have always told African American children they could be whatever they wanted to be.  However, now I no longer have to qualify it with “but …”

As We Vote …

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I was impressed with this prayer posted on John Piper’s his Desiring God website.

Father in heaven, as we approach this election on Tuesday, I pray

1) that your people will vote,

2) and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily;

3) that we would know and live the meaning of being in the world, but not of it, doing politics as though not doing them, being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s;

4) that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence;

5) that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come;

6) and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of his sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with his people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.