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Hope

2009 January 20
by Julie Clawson

Today was awesome. Watching the inauguration was moving – and doing so in virtual community was inspiring. And I’m loving the pervasive feeling of hope being celebrated literally around the world today.

But that hope received some push back today. From the cynics who disliked Obama from the get go to the anabaptists who reject all government involvement for good or for ill. While these critiques have some merit, I believe they often miss the point. Most of us have no delusions that Obama the man represents that hope. Our trust is not in him, he has no power to save us. Yes, we like him (with good reason), but what we are celebrating is much bigger than a man.

It is a hope inspired by the winds of change. Change like no longer having the rhetoric coming from our country’s leaders be that of power, oppression, and domination but instead that of mercy, love, and justice. Of course we don’t trust in rhetoric, but it is what forms the zeigeist of the nation. Language does shape us and leads us in paths of action. If we immerse ourselves in the language of hatred and fear then that will become who we are. So to find ourselves in the midst of language encouraging service, justice, peace, love, and mercy, then yes I think there is cause for celebration.  Cause for rejoicing in a vision of being that does represent the values of the Kingdom. It isn’t the kingdom itself nor is Obama in any sense a savior, but anything that encourages the values of the kingdom is yes, in fact, good.

And that inspires hope.

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13 Responses leave one →
  1. January 20, 2009

    Well said, Julie. We saw a glimpse today, and it was glorious.

  2. January 21, 2009

    Thanks. I appreciate anabaptist theology and understand where they are coming from, and still have my doubts about whether or not politics at the presidential level can be anything but idolatrous, but your post helped me appreciate what is genuinely good about what is happening right now. Thanks again!

  3. Karl permalink
    January 21, 2009

    Amy Moffit has a good post about the ambiguity of hope mixed with trepidation that she felt yesterday on her blog, “Without a Map.” I can relate to her mix of feelings.

    http://moffou.blogspot.com/2009/01/inauguration-day-2009.html

  4. January 21, 2009

    I confess to being one of the anabaptists you refer to, yet, I’m not sure that my anabaptist stance misses the point or even negates your comments about Obama. No less than JH Yoder believed that we can condemn the unjust actions of the state and praise the just ones, while nonetheless refusing to equate the state with the kingdom or with the church. Indeed, your final analysis sounds quite anabaptist after all!

  5. January 21, 2009

    I think you’re right about affirming that Obama’s not a savior but this sea-change is helping to encourage the values of the kingdom of god. Big time. I’m in.

  6. January 21, 2009

    You’ve voiced what I feel – that there is hope once again, and that we should celebrate the change that Obama represents.

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